Why I failed

I realized something today. I realized why I failed as a Youth Pastor. Here is the short answer: I didn’t make well-informed decisions. This is only mostly true. Sometimes I did spend time in prayer, and asked people advice. However, I can distinctly remember as I planned out the years calendar, that I just wrote down events, and themes that seemed to make sense. I very rarely listened to the Holy Spirit. If a decision was tough I would pray, and consult my professors and mentors for their input. However, I very rarely if ever, let God guide the ministry. Why? Because I wasn’t as connected to God as I should be. This is a 50/50 problem. Here is what I mean by that. This is 50% my fault, and 50% the fault of the church.

It is my responsibility to make sure that I am maintaining my own relationship with God. I was challenged by a Sr. Pastor I worked for to be more self-disciplined, wake up earlier and connect with God early. To get to work early, work hard, and listen to God. I attempted to do this, for a week. The advice was good, I just thought I knew better. However, from the church’s side. Often they say we are paying you for FT work, which is 40 hours a week. But we really expect 50-55 hours, or something like that. The idea is that the local church expects their workers to work so hard that they have little time for everything else. This is unrealistic. My belief is if you want them to put in for 50 hours, pay them for 50 hours a week, not 40 and expect more. The church expects one to put in so much work, that the worker sometimes finds it hard to find time to connect with God, to pray for guidance, to maintain their own spiritual life.

Why did I fail as a Youth Pastor? I chose to neglect God in my ministry and life! I may want to blame the church, and I made an argument that they may in fact be partially to blame. But it’s my fault. What do I do now? I learn, God is the most important aspect of my life! How will I apply what I learn? Well shooting from the hip: I will probably never seek a full-time church job again. A part-time position for sure, but to me a full-time position tries to squeeze God out of my life, it’s not intentional by anyone, it’s just what happens to me. Anyway, the real application for me is: I will always put God first in my day, everyday, regardless!


5 thoughts on “Why I failed

  1. Tracy W. says:

    Expectation of full-time workers getting paid on a salary basis is rarely a 40-hour-per-week minimum. Salaried jobs are often that way for a reason. It’s not like you’re mining coal for 8 hours a day and when you go home you’re done. You stay until the job is done. Teachers go home and grade papers. Other employees stay late to finish reports due the next day.

    Ministry work, whether paid or unpaid, requires devotion to the calling. You don’t stop being a pastor when the bell rings. In particular, it’s not unusual to see a number of unpaid volunteers in a church that work numerous extra hours over their day jobs to support the church through administration, teaching, music, etc.

    It’s unfair to blame a church’s work expectations on a lack of personal spiritual growth, just as much as it’s unfair to blame any other job. However, I can see how working in full-time ministry might cause someone to neglect their own spiritual health. All the more reason to have good self-discipline and accountability.

    Good luck.

    • supermatt28 says:

      The point I was trying to make is that I could make an argument to blame churches, but I’m not, I know that my spiritual un-health or health is entirely between me and God and rests on me drawing near to God so He can then draw close to me. I didn’t mean to blame the church, and I am aware that it may come off that way. A professor in a class today said “Church workers aren’t the ideal Christian.” The point he was making was that Christ didn’t call us to be in the church walls but outside it. I feel now as a barista I am more spiritually healthy and doing better ministry than I have in 4 years or more. Anyway, now I’m rambling . . . thanks for the comment, and for reading Tracy.

  2. Karina says:

    I understand what your saying Matt. It really isn’t anyones “fault” though. It’s just life experience.
    God made us all differently. It’s most likely you (at this point of your life) are only ready for part time church service.
    I would not condemn anything that is in Gods plan – we all have rocky roads along the way. Even if it is made that way to make us fall, it would only be so we could learn strength and courage on how to get back up.
    I think you are doing amazing with your dedication and loyalty to God and his people.

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