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


If you want the main thing to be the main thing, then you’re going to have to say no to a lot of minor things that all have an inferiority complex.  Those things are the ones that fight and beg and push and demand to matter most.  If your main thing, like it is for me, is following Jesus, then there’s a lot of things that try and edge Jesus out.

  • As an American citizen: this means I must say no to consumerism as the essence of happy life as the definition of success.
  • As a parent: this means I say no to raising good kids in favor of Godly young adults.
  • As a spouse:  this means I say no to raising kids and paying bills as the primary subject of my marriage.
  • As a pastor: this means I refuse to accept short term victories in exchange for long term fruit.

More recently, I’ve been reminded through a variety of venues that this is no sideline issue in life. Regardless of what you want to be the center of your life, there is always something there to compete for that position. In the case of my life as a youth pastor and more recently as a father of teens, I’ve learned the hard way that there are some very specific things that are on the goal I’m aiming for because quite simply, they do not last.

  1. The goal is not behavior modification because its possible to be morally right and spiritually dead.
  2. The goal is not increased involvement in the church and “spiritual” things because a life that looks good does not equal a heart that is devoted.
  3. The goal is not to get a covenant signed a a commitment made because talk is cheap and transformation is hard.

I decided while writing this that each of those is worth a post, so I’ll flush each one out next week on 3 separate posts on this blog.  But the truth is, these 3 do not create the legacy I yearn for and the ownership I’m praying will develop in my own kids and the teens i’m pouring my life into.  They are not bad, they are just not ultimate and when I settle for them as the goal, they always disappoint.

katie, jd, jill, me, max & kevin

katie, jd, jill, me, max & kevin

The goal is however a faith that lasts a lifetime.  It’s the kind of thing I was reminded of as I shared a weekend with some former students who are now youth workers in their own churches as a adults.   I had the privilege of performing several of their marriages, doing tons of life together in high school, and walking with them through literally years of highs and lows of life and ministry.  It was such a joy to do life with them in the context of a winter snow retreat again with several churches. What a joy.  As I snapped this pic this last weekend I was reminded that while I cannot always control the paths people go on to get to where they are… I can be clear… this is the goal.  I’m aiming for ministry that lasts a lifetime.

May God grant us all the wisdom, discernment, grace, endurance and patience that it takes to keep the main thing the main thing.

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