Our theme this year is “The Life.” Today we explore that theme with….
The Life of the Teen Guru
Felicia Fox is the Associate Pastor of Students & Families at First Baptist Mount Olive. She is a graduate of the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University. She enjoys helping young people see God in their everyday lives, painting, attending roller derbies, and playing with her two dogs.
I love superheroes. There’s a lot of superhero media out there now. From movies to shows to comics you don’t have to look far to find one. I wonder what a superhero based on a youth minister would be like. Let’s call it, “The Life of the Teen Guru.”
All superheroes need super powers. As a youth minister this superhero would need the ability to eat lots of pizza without ever getting heartburn. He or she should be able to carry large amounts of pool noodles or beach balls with their pinky finger while setting up the most outrageous games with a Biblical point. The Teen Guru would of course be able to keep up with all forms of social media without breaking a sweat. Instead of a bat signal they would be contacted with a special guru text or a secret snapchat filter. Our superhero would have a listening ear and a caring spirit for any teen.
The Teen Guru would have the best superhero costume. That would of course include the latest and greatest camp or youth group t-shirt, a book bag complete with a first aid kit, and sneakers for keeping up with a large group of middle schoolers. The Teen Guru would also always have at least twelve bracelets made by different youth. He or she would also be able to change into a suit for worship at the blink of an eye.
If you have a superhero they must have a cause to fight for. Our youth minister superhero would have their fair share of evils to overcome. He or she would always have to battle the culture that pulls youth away into a million activities that are always scheduled during youth ministry events. Our hero would spend a good amount of time helping teens to understand they are loved and valuable just the way they are. The Teen Guru would shine the light of Jesus into the lives of teens and the world revealing dark places of sin and suffering that need healing. He or she would spent time leading Bible studies, fun activities, and helping empower youth to live out their own faith.
The truth is we don’t need a superhero youth minister because the world has many who are already doing this. There are youth ministers who spend their time loving and supporting teens on a daily basis. There are youth minsters who share the love of Christ each week with students who are searching to understand just how loved they are. There are youth ministers who pour their time and talents into making sure youth have quality programs to attend that help them form community, grow in their faith, and help others.
The life of a youth minister can be hard and it requires a certain type of person to do it. I’m not suggesting that youth ministers are heroes. I just thought this might be a fun way to look at what youth ministers do and their value. Youth ministers are just normal people who have been transformed by a relationship with God made possible by Christ. As we strive to follow the calling of youth minister let’s strive not to be heroes but to be people of faith who live a life loving God and loving others.