The Youth Pastor’s Non-Dilemma [Time Out]

Topic / Time Out

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
(by Adam Wormann)

If there is any consolation in being a youth worker, it’s that we don’t have the Matthew 19 dilemma.

In Matthew 19:16, we have the dilemma of the rich man who wants to enter the kingdom of God. (click the link above to look at the passage if you haven’t already done so). At least I’ve never had to worry about that. Most youth workers aren’t making so much that giving up money is keeping us from the kingdom. In fact, many of us have already done that (and if it isn’t a sacrifice you’ve had to make, that’s okay too!). But what Jesus says to this man is so deep. It goes way beyond money, as we already know.

The man “went away sad because he had great wealth” and Jesus told him that he needed to give it up if he truly wanted to follow Christ. The problem though, wasn’t with the man’s money.

I have a friend who is a local pastor, and was approached after a service. The man’s question was “I am a gay man, but I’m interested in Jesus. Can I still be gay and follow Jesus?” At that point, some people would be quick to yell “no, that’s sin and it’s incompatible.” Others would say “yeah, that’s been misinterpreted and really isn’t a big deal.” Actually, both may be wrong. This pastor’s answer was basically (I forget exactly) “You know, it sounds like right now what you’re finding your identity in is homosexuality. Before we even discuss whether or not that is sin, the question to ask is ‘am I ready to give this up?’ because it sounds like being gay is more important than following Christ.”

Just like the rich young ruler, there are things that stand in the way of us and God. Yes, that is what sin does. What we often want to do though, is to address the issue and not the heart. A heart that says, “I will follow Christ if it doesn’t mean…” or “I follow Christ, but my identity is found in…” misses it. Take an honest look.

1. Is there something that you would not give up in order to follow Christ?
2. What is your identity truly found in (If someone asks you, “I am a _______”). Is it youth pastor? Tech guy? Husband? Job Title?

Adam Wormann is Pastor of Next Generation Ministries at Sayre Woods Bible Church in Old Bridge, NJ where he’s been serving for the past 8 years. He is also one of the mentors at Life in Student Ministry and the editor of the “Time Out” series. You can stalk him on Twitter and Facebook, or read his blog if you’re really bored.

Posted on February 21, 2011

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