By Jeremy White • Valley Church • Vacaville, California
Once a youth pastor, always a youth pastor, right?
Regardless of whether a title changes as mine did a few years ago, I will always treasure my fifteen years in youth ministry as the formative years of my ministry life and calling. I am a better leader, teacher, mentor, and friend today because of the opportunities God afforded me through youth ministry. No matter what my current title may be, I simply cannot sever myself from my heart-connection to investing in youth.
My relationship with interlínc and Youth Leaders Only began back in those early youth ministry days. A lover of music myself, I always had a deep sense of how powerfully music could be used to connect ideas to the hearts of human beings. Now in my sixth year as a Lead Pastor, I am still a member of YLO.
Why? Because, YLO is one of the great ministry tools out there. Although I’m not in the weekly trenches of youth ministry the way I once was, I see YLO as a blessing for numerous reasons. Some of those reasons include the following:
- YLO blesses me with great current music. Every quarter, I get a box full of goodies, including hundreds of dollars worth of the latest and best stuff available in the Christian market. I benefit from it personally by the fresh new stuff, and I always have music on hand to give away as gifts.
- YLO blesses me with great inspiration. Through the feature articles, artist interviews, online content and other tools, I am constantly reminded of the blessings and challenges of youth ministry. This helps me be a better lead pastor to my own youth pastor, and reminds me of how critical our student ministries are to the life of our church.
- YLO blesses me with assistance. Even though I’m far less cool than I used to be, I’m still often asked to speak at youth camps, chapel services, graduations, and even once in awhile at our youth group when our youth pastor is desperate! With YLO in my toolbox, I can easily find help with prepping a great and relevant message targeted at the audience I’m speaking to.
There are numerous other reasons I love YLO, not the least of which is that over the years I’ve gotten to know the heart of the men and women who run this operation. They are youth workers themselves, they are ministry-minded to the core, and they truly desire to make your life easier as a teacher and communicator.
I’ve seen and even contributed to a lot of curriculum out there. YLO is so much more! It’s a culturally relevant, always up-to-date, Christ-honoring ,and truly helpful tool for doing youth ministry better. If you haven’t signed up, do yourself a favor and GO FOR IT!