Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I have been a full time youth pastor for almost 15 years.  Yesterday I had a first though.  There are surely lots of things that I have done, and lots more that I have not in that time frame.  This past Sunday was a first I have wondered about how to handle for years.  It is a first that in some ways I feared because if navigated poorly, I’ve seen horrible results. 

It can be done well.  I’ve got several examples of it in my life.  But I have several examples that prove it can be really bad too.

So, yesterday, I spoke in our middle school ministry.  Nothing new there, except that it also was the first time ever that I have spoken to a group of students in which my son was part of the intended audience as TJ is now in 6th grade.  Sure my kids have heard me teach in big church and sat through tons of high school services here or there, but never have I been talking up front and in part, was talking to my son too. 

I survived. We survived.

I think it was actually a good thing for both of us, but it still scares me.  I want him to still like me.  I want God to be honored.  I don’t want to use my talks to talk to my kids.  I really want to walk with my kids as a Dad through this stage of their life, but I really want more for them to have the space and safety to wrestle with their faith during this stage and come away loving Jesus by their choice and not my calling.  Navigating that road will be the next big hurdle of my parenting and represents a huge shift in my experiences as a youth pastor. 

Pray for me and my kids.  We’ll all need it. 

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