Friday, March 6, 2009

I love you, I just don't like you right now

Is it ok for a youth pastor to admit when he is annoyed with one of his students? Well, I think yes and no. I guess I can admit it to myself, and admit it to you (dear reader), but beyond that I won't go. No need to mention a name, or to even go into detail. So this isn't a "You wouldn't believe this person..." stream of thought. I'm not harping on their wrongness and my gleaming example of right. It's really me more observing the reality and how I feel about it.

As a minister, you try to identify a group of students who can lead as an example to other young people. You hope that their lives will spur others on to righteousness, to rising above circumstances, to rising onto a plane above pettiness and short-sighted interests. However, this, my friends, is not how it always works out. People are people, and teens--God knows-- are teens.

So with one such person, I realized the other day, "this person does not get it." I had not been appreciating this person's attitude as of late, and when I pushed a little and made him start to come to terms with it, the underlying truth was evinced: the maturity that I hoped for in this person-- the discpline, the love, the vision that I want to see-- just wasn't there. Intead I saw exactly what I want all of these young Christians to grow out of: pettiness, bitterness, anger, and pride.

So I love this person. I love his personality and what he can bring to our group. But at the moment, God forgive me, I don't like him very much. It's not really because all of this immaturity is still there, but more the smugness with which this person holds all of it. He gave the impression that he had no interest in changing anything no matter how obviously prideful, bitter and mean it may be. And it...bugs me.

I'm still new at this church. But as I train these leaders I'm ready-anxious-desperate for a strong foundation in our group of love, self-control, humility, and maturity. With this person, I don't know where to go next in this vision. Hence my state, I love this person, but don't like him very much right now. This is my confession.


  1. Dude, I feel you! You are, I'm sure, doing a phenomenal job. This kid will come around, and you know that he is being affected more than he's letting on.

    So glad to have you blog!! We miss you.

  2. P.S. i'm your first follower--sweet!

  3. Dude, why was I not informed of this blog?

    And we want you on that wall, P. We need you on that wall.

  4. The Brookhollow blog community is now an expansive and powerful network.

  5. The melon donkey is right! I'm looking forward to more posts Pat.

  6. Looks like good company here!

    I always try to remind myself with my own budding pre-teenager that their brains aren't done cooking yet. They can't help it. Somewhat.
    Oh, and also what a terror I was at those ages. Yikes!