As fun as it has been however, my calling is to pastor and that's been clear from the start. I know we started this interim journey with the goal of getting some stability, excitement, establishing a foundation for growth, forming a core leadership group in the form of a youth board, and then I would step out. Knowing that and anticipating it are two different things. I believe we have accomplished what we set out to do a few months back and now the time is right for me to put my full focus back into pastoring the church (and doing the music right now too . . .). The great thing about this transition is that I'm not going ANYWHERE. The only difference in this change is that I won't be back with the youth on Wednesday's. I'm still going to be heavily involved in the youth board meetings, plans, facebook page, and website. I'll remain involved in chaperoning as well as I'm available. And above all, I'll always be available for our teens no matter what.
Some of the highlights of the past few months have included:
- 19 decisions / rededications
- A strong steady average of over 20 during the summer months with as many as 33 present at one time.
- Fundraisers (Car Wash, Breakfast, Lunch, Car Decals)
- Eating at Dairy Queen after service on Wednesday's
- Tubing in the river in Helen
- Shopping till we dropped at the Mall of GA in Buford
- Planning for our Night of Joy Disney World getaway
- Playing LOUD praise and worship each week
- Eating breakfast together before school
- Playing some Around the World Ping Pong
- Establishing "Youth Rows" on Sunday mornings at church. Our adults know you exist now!
Now for a note to the teens and Youth Board:
We've done a lot together in the 3 and a half months I've been privileged to serve as your interim youth pastor. I've had a blast! To each one of you, I love you dearly. You make ministry fun and remind me why I do what I do on a regular basis. I love the relationships we've built. For many of you, we had a relationship before I started this journey and for others of you, we have established a relationship since I became the interim youth pastor. One thing is for certain though. The relationships have only deepened over time and will only continue to grow deeper as more time passes. I am not leaving you. I am here and will continue to be here and available for you for anything at all! If you need to talk, I'm still here. If you need help, I'm still here. If you're in a bad situation and need someone to get you out of it, I'm there anytime, anyplace, any situation. I've got you covered. Thank you for your encouragement along the way. We all knew this wasn't permanent and so the time has come. Thank you all for everything! I'll miss you on Wednesday's for sure, but I know you're in good hands.
For the Youth Board, you guys are awesome. It was said that no one wanted to help with the teens, but you've outdid yourselves. Each of you have completely invested yourself into this ministry and have made it flourish. You've taken great responsibility and great efforts to make sure our teens knew they were loved, accepted, and wanted at this church. I appreciate each of you for your hard work and dedication. I know you are all entering into uncharted territory as I step out of the interim role and hand it collectively to all of you, but I have no doubts that you can do great things. I chose each of you for a reason (and it wasn't just because some of you have kids in the group). You each possess special talents and abilities that God has used and will magnify even greater in the coming weeks and months as you walk in this divine assignment. You have been and will be the glue that holds this group together. Through your commitment, we can assure the teens that whether a youth pastor comes and stays or comes and goes, this group knows there is a Youth Board who will be there and hopefully they know there is a Pastor who will be there.
I love and appreciate all of you. Thank you for making my brief stint back in youth ministry successful, fun, and amazing! I'll be seeing you on Sundays . . .