Thursday, May 17, 2012

Changes Ahead: The Possibility of New Ministry Life

Jasper Speaks:

My life could be changing very soon. I would desire your prayers as God reveals His plans to me. On Sunday evening, the church will be voting on whether or not to change my role in our ministry. If they feel led to do so, I will no longer be the Youth Pastor as of the end of the summer. I will move into the more "adult" role of Minister of Discipleship and Administration. I will be responsible for church wide discipleship and most of the administrative areas of our congregation.

This has been a while in coming. Over the past few years God has been speaking to me about what the next step in ministry would be for me. I love student ministry. I have been a youth pastor over half of my life. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a teenager "get it". When I work with students, I can sense God's pleasure. Still, I am not as young as I once was. I have often called myself a youth pastor "lifer". But as I have been going through seminary and have had long discussions with others on staff, God has been changing my focus.

When our current Minister of Education and Administration, Keith Utley,   felt led to plant a new congregation, I was happy for him. Even as we talked, I was not sure how this move would affect me. I didn't know the way the Spirit would move in my life as a result of moving in his. 

I have been praying about how God would use me through this whole process. In the end, I just wanted God to reveal His will to Kendra and I.I didn't know how He would lead but ever since that first conversation with Keith in August, when he told me how God was moving in his life, I knew things in my life would change. Since then there were several conversations with out pastor and other staff. We were all seeking God's will.

This spring we did a series at Reality Check called, "What Are We Doing Here". We encouraged our students and leaders to seek out their spiritual gifts and passions and put them together to find a ministry. That series spoke to me as well. I love to see people grow in Christ. I feel like my God given gifts lie in encouraging, teaching and disciple making.

So, eventually God moved me to talk with the pastor about our church's future. After several conversations, we felt like God was leading us to this current area. By taking on this new role, I will be staring down the barrel of my last summer as a Youth Pastor. If the church sees fit to proceed, I will supervise the new Student Ministry Team Leader but my days as the "youth guy" will end. 

It is a bittersweet time. I desire your prayers. Please pray that the question and answer time and the vote following on Sunday evening would both glorify God and confirm His purpose for the church and my family. This will be a new frontier for us. If God is in it, the mission will thrive. Thanks in advance for remembering us to the Father.