For the Long Haul
By Shawn Michael Shoup on July 04 2012
I'm marrying my first youth group graduate early this August. I've always looked forward to this day - anticipating that it would eventually happen.
It's such a privilege to, first of all, have the honor of speaking into a student's life, and then, secondly, getting to be a part of such a momentous occasion. On top of that, this particular wedding is going to take place on top of Harney Peak, the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe, coming in at 7,242 feet altitude. Awesome! And that wasn't even on my bucket list!
Regardless, of whether you are at the stage where you are marrying your students off (which generally means that you've been around for a while), you do have responsibility and the privilege of being a pastoral voice in students' lives. That means having the opportunity to be there when they go through relational difficulties, celebrating with them when they get their first job, mourning the loss of a family pet, or just cheering them on at their sporting event. All of those things added up equal a huge impact in a student's life!
Staying in ministry for the long haul does more than just make your resume look good. It establishes relationship and sets you up for a much stronger ministry impact. Being present accounts for a lot. And that doesn't happen by accident.