You Have What it Takes
Recently we had a video call with many of the youth leaders in our NRP churches. They spent time sharing ideas, and then Chris Lodriguss had some encouragement for them. Below is the recap of what he shared. Although it is aimed at youth pastors, the principles and encouragement is very applicable to all of us. We hope you are encouraged!
YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES by Chris Lodriguss
We are all rocked by this whole situation. Life is upside down. It’s easy to feel inadequate for this season. There has been no training or practice on how to be a youth pastor through a world pandemic. No matter how much you were killing it prior to all of this, you aren’t doing that now. That kid that just got saved that you saw all the time, you aren’t seeing right now. As I prayed about that feeling of inadequacy, the Lord led me to Matthew.
Vs 15: The disciples came to Jesus with a problem.
Vs 16: Jesus said, “You feed them.”
YOU are the person right now who is called, assigned, and appointed, by Heaven, to be the youth pastor for your church in your city. You have the strategy, creativity, plan, and anointing to take youth ministry in this crazy season and do it.
Don’t expect anyone else to have a better plan for your students than you. Don’t expect anyone else to have a better outlook for your ministry than you. God has appointed you for NOW!
Vs 17: The disciples said they have bread and fish.
Bread is super common. For example, let’s say that bread is the internet. Everyone has access to it. Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t have or can’t do. What do you have, and what can you do?
Fish—Most of these men were fishermen. They were familiar with fish. The fish represents something from their skillset, something unique from their lives. There are things that one of us has that another doesn’t. You have something unique on the inside of you for your students that no one else has.
Vs 18: Jesus told them to bring the bread and fish to Him.
You might feel that you have nothing to offer, but that is a lie from the enemy. Take what you have to offer, and bring it to the Lord. Let Him do something with it.
The most important thing in your arsenal is creativity. Creativity is king. Be creative. Think of ways to get in there and do what you need to do. Empower your leaders. Get with them. Bounce ideas off them. If you lack leaders (or your leaders aren’t very creative), go to your faithful students. If you don’t have any, go find someone else to help you think. The more creativity you have at your disposal, the better you will be.
Find ways to engage them. Right now, I’m playing a lot of Xbox 360 to bond with some guys. If you have a bunch of athletes, make a video of yourself doing 20 pushups in 15 seconds and tell them to beat you. Egg them on. Engage them. Once they are engaged, connected, interacting with you at ANY level—that’s when you can really start ministering to them and getting the Word into them.
Every single ministry is going to come out of this worse or better. You aren’t going to come through this and remain the same. Relieve yourself of that pressure—there may be some students you had going into this that you won’t have when you come out. That isn’t on you. You reach out to them and do all you can, and then release it. But! You also could have kids that you didn’t have before this that you will have on lock when you get to the other side. They want to be cared for, loved, and seen. For some kids, it might be as easy as giving them a few rolls of toilet paper and their favorite candy.
One more encouragement: Just because this isn’t conventional or normal doesn’t mean that God can’t do something supernatural.
You have what it takes to lead the youth ministry where you are!