Built Different

I started ministry in the Summer of 2020, and to be completely honest, I think it has transformed me as a leader. No, I am not talking about the struggle to navigate the uncharted waters of COVID and the restrictions we have all faced in the last 18 months. I am not talking about the stress of ministry in the middle of a pandemic with racial tension and political division at boiling points. As a leader and pastor, I think I’ve been broken in the best way possible.

For those of us who have been broken in ministry circles in the last two or three years, we are built differently. It’s not a knock on pastors, staff, or leaders who are experienced and have been in the game a long time. These leaders have navigated this season in their own way and have found success. But the young guns, the new kids on the block, we carry a different sense of drive and focus that is unique to us.

We have a skill set that we learned before getting our feet wet in ministry. Before I could finish a year of original messages as a youth pastor or utilize an entire budget for my ministry, I was thrust into; you guessed it: unprecedented times. I had a pastor friend of mine continually apologize to me, saying, “I promise it will get better. It’s not always like this. Things will calm down.” After a few months, he said, “You know what, I make no promises to you. Things will never be the same.” I am thankful because it has grown me as a leader in ways that I never thought possible.

I am thankful that I am able to serve in such a time as the one we live in. While other pastors are scrambling to get back to normal, other pastors are comfortable with change, right at home when things fall through and fail. We aren’t discouraged by it. We are not deterred from our vision. When I started trying to do ministry online during the pandemic, I had two or three students online. But I wasn’t worried. I just moved down the list of new programs and new outreach ideas, seeing if the next thing would work. You see, we have been adapting and learning on the fly for the entirety of our careers.

If you have one of these new pastors on your staff, I challenge you to let them help cast a widespread vision. Please give them the big, important projects you want to see done. Their innovation will push your church and community into new territories, even if it isn’t on the first or second try. When an idea clicks, it will be revolutionary!

Josh Seaton is the Youth Pastor at LifePointe Church in Prescott, Arizona

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