July 16, 2012 by Will Ray
I didn’t think I would ever write this post.
I don’t think I would have guessed I am where I am, doing what I’m doing, and enjoying it.
I’m a youth ministries director [read: youth minister] at Celebration Church here in Raleigh. I’ve been on staff now for 2.5 years, and ministry has become a big part of my life. I’ll be honest and say that when I took this job I was thinking that I could potentially skirt around the edges and maybe avoid getting into the down-and-dirty of ministry, but it just doesn’t work that way. You can’t be effective and skirt around the edges, plus Jesus didn’t stay on the fringes. He dove in and did what needed to be done, and thank God for that.
For definitional purposes here on this blog, when I say “ministry” I’ll be referring to working full-time in a ministerial capacity, with a church or para-church organization. I know, I know, all Christians are (or should be) ministers of the gospel, and anyone can work in ministry by volunteering in various ministries at their church or elsewhere. I believe that to be true! But I may touch on some things that might be unique to people working in full-time ministry in this category.
Like the others, this “Ministry” category will be an exploration of my experience in [youth] ministry, some ideas about ministry, books that have enhanced my thinking in ministry, and even devotional/inspirational thoughts that I have developed (or am trying to). My hope is to chronicle what I’ve experienced and learned, to challenge us as believers together, and to hopefully help some struggling young youth pastor who is trying to figure out what in the world is going on.
All of us who are Christians are where we are today because someone lived out their life in the service to the gospel. You may have had mentors who were not, but the likelihood is that you’ve had someone who was in full-time ministry pour into your life in a big way at some point.
Question: Who is (or has been) the minister/pastor that has influenced your life the most? Throw out their name and give them their dues!