The Top 100

Top 100

Hello friends!

According to the fancy counting machine up here on the J-Blog, this is my 100th post dedicated to Youth Ministry! And so, in what might be a way-too ambitious a project, I have here compiled my top 100 favorite parts about youth ministry. I tried to keep things that I liked less near the bottom of the list, and those I really like at the top, but they're not in any firm kind of order. But even the stuff I dislike, I truly love about my job! You could join in the celebration too! If you have a special youth minister in your life, pass this list along to them, and see if they have anything to add!

So, without further stalling for time:

100. 4:45 AM the night of a lock in. This is where the wheels fall off the wagon.

99. The occasional cranky e-mail from a parent.

98. The even less occasional apology e-mail from the aforementioned parent.

97. Talking on the phone for any reason to any person.

96. That slight odor of rotten bananas in my car after a retreat.

95. Finding the rotten banana two weeks later.

94. Random meetings in my office from custodians who don't like the mess in the youth room.

93. Random meetings in my office from bible study leaders who don't like the mess in the youth room.

92. Random meetings in my office from the senior pastor who doesn't like the complaints from the janitor and the bible study leaders about the mess in the youth room.

91. Cleaning the youth room.

90. The downright refusal of most boys to shower or cleanse themselves in anyway during the course of a week long retreat.

89. The outrageous amounts of axe body spray required to conceal #90.

88. The assumption that I know how to fix anything and everything technological.

87. The assumption that I watch You Tube all day.

86. Watching You Tube all day.

85. Researching what in the world a "Beiber" is to stay culturally relevant.

84. Being seen as a day care provider for teenagers.

83. The weeks where absolutely nothing is going on, thus boring me to the point of tears.

82. The sure and certain knowledge that #83 doesn't exist.

81. Being asked when I'm going to become a "real" pastor.

80. Wondering to myself when I'm going to become a "real" pastor.

79. Youth group break ups

78. The six months of two-students not-talking after youth group break ups

77. Wearing a tie for the "big persons" service.

76. Wearing a tie for any reason at all.

75. I don't have to wear a tie.

74. My ninja-like skills when it comes to finding a sermon illustrations from shows like Mythbusters and Judge Judy.

73. Bumping into students/parents in the grocery store.

72. The awkward face students/parents give me when they bump into me in the grocery store.

71. The inspection of the contents of my shopping cart when being bumped into in the grocery store.

70. Finding new and refreshing ways to give the "sex talk."

69. Jokes during the sex talk.

68. "Wait, so like, what do you guys do all day?"

67. Camp mattresses

66. Mario Lemieux (Go with it)

65. Mornings when the heat is broken in the gym for worship.

64. Mornings when the coffee machine is broken for worship.

63. Starbucks

62. Meetings/Bible Studies at Starbucks

61. Starring at a blank screen on Saturday when scheduled to preach on Sunday.

60. Having a finished sermon on Monday when preaching the upcoming Sunday.

59. Being the guy who is constantly told the music erupting from his office is too loud.

58. Turning up the volume.

57. Not knowing what to do next.

56. Staying up all night on a retreat.

55. Getting up early the day after a retreat.

54. Retreats.

53. This photograph:

Excited kid

52. Typing in questionable image searches for the blog/teachings at Veritas (Beach Bum, Dicks Sporting Goods, and anything related to the sex talk being among my favorites!)

51. Google safe search.

50. Making absurdly long lists for a blog post about youth ministry!

49. Writing blog posts about youth ministry.

48. Writing articles for our Church newsletter.

47. Writing Advent/Lenten Devotionals for the whole congregation that people actually read and do.

46. Writing original worship songs that no one but Westminster sings.

45. When one of those worship songs gets out to other churches who also love to sing it.

44. Being a make-believe movie producer.

43. Having my computer back up in the middle of movie productions, thus slowing everything to a halt.

42. Having #43 happen 5 minutes before I'm supposed to be showing the movie in question.

41. Getting a chance to show people the lives of young adults through movies and films.

40. Working with students in confirmation class to discover where their story is going.

39. The INSANE amount of freedom I'm given over our confirmation class.

38. The INSANE amount of freedom I'm given over everything we do.

37. Finger darts.

36. Nerf Gun Battles.

35. Sticky Bun Sundays.

34. The J and Ed Variety Show.

33. Student Made Videos

32. Laughing until I cry.

31. Working with the best staff on the planet.

30. Playing Mario Kart on our lunch breaks.

29. The Alive Music Festival.

28. The Day of Jubilee

27. One on One Meetings with Students

26. The National Youth Workers Convention

25. Creative Lunch every Tuesday at the Sarku Japan.

24. Knowing that the people at Sarku Japan know me so well they need only ask me "For here or to go?"

23. Being a combo Youth Minister/Worship Leader.

22. Worshiping in a gymnasium.

21. Having to set up for worship each Sunday in a gymnasium.

20. Having only 45 minutes to rehearse for an hour long service.

19. Preaching.

18. The occasional Sunday to sit in the back and neither preach, or lead worship, but simply worship and pray with this wonderful beautiful community.

17. Chick-Fil-A.

16. My Thursday afternoon Bible Study.

15. Knowing for certain that I will never grow up.

14. Watching students who know for certain that they will never grow up.

13. Watching students mature into leaders.

12. Helping students who are hurting.

11. Getting to wear absolutely whatever I'd like.

10. Dodgeball

9. The unreasonable support I receive at Westminster from our staff, Elders, commissions, and parents to allow me to do what I do.

8. I get paid for each and every one of the items on this list.

7. Random campfire worship outbreaks.

6. When parents or students say thank you.

5. Getting the chance to say thank you to youth ministers who might not other wise hear it.

4. Working with my best friend.

3. Mission trips that change students lives.

2. Deep small group discussions

And the number 1 thing I love about youth ministry IS:

Seeing students fall deeply, madly, and radically in love with the Risen Savior Jesus Christ.