Introduction and a small prayer request...
I guess this is as good a place as any to introduce myself on this forum. I'm Steve, and I'm 27 years old. I'm brand new to hunting and almost as new in my faith. I've been a Christian since June of 2007, when I asked Jesus for forgiveness for the life I'd been leading and asked Him into my heart. Best day of my life. Now, the prayer request...
I go to a small, country church with a small congregation. When I first showed up there, I can remember counting about two or three children in the crowd, so it didn't surprise me that there were no youth programs...since there were no youths. Well, steadily over the past three years, that has begun to change. I first took a small group of teens to a Christian youth conference we have around year three years ago. We started with four kids. This year, we had thirteen. Twelve of them accepted Christ or rededicated their lives to Him this year. I'm still continuing to pray for and talk to the last one.
I feel this amazing youth movement gaining momentum in my small church and I feel this pull on my heart that it's where my own ministry might be. Recently, pastor approached my wife and told her he believes it might be time to appoint a youth pastor. I'm not positive, but I think he might have me in mind.
I guess I'm just not entirely sure about it. I feel so young in my faith and walk sometimes that I wonder if I'm strong enough to lead these children. And yet, if that's where God wants me, it's where I want to be. Please, if all of my brothers and sisters could just say a small prayer for me, for guidance and direction, and the strength to do whatever God is calling me to do. Thanks, everyone. Love in Christ!
Steve welcome to the site and keep up the good work man. It's a very good thing to have more and more youth join in become involved and what you are doing is great. If the Pastor believes in you then believe in yourself as well. You'll do a great job!!!
Hi Steve, tator here. First off welcome to this awesome site. I find it uplifting to talk to fellow hunters and Christians on this site. I think you'll be surprised like I am at how many are both on here!
I have been a Christian nearly all my life. I accepted Christ as my savior when I was 11y/o and I am now 30. Though it seems like I have been a Christian for 19 years, I did go through rough patchs in my life. That's another story for another day...
I completely understand your problem and concerns. The first thing you need to realize (and you probably do) is this, just because you are a Christian that doesn't mean you won't have struggles and tough times ahead. I'm sure you have already experienced these in short amount of time as a Christian. The difference now is that your faith is in Jesus Christ. I ask you and beg of you, to never turn away from Christ. As a new Christian it is easy to fall back into the ways of your non-Christian life. I have seen this so many times at the church I attend. We'll have new Christians show up and get baptized and then within a couple years they're gone, out living their life the way it used to be because God failed them some how. And that's completely not the truth. So from this point on, as your Brother in Christ, I ask you to put your full trust and faith in Christ and awesome things will happen in your life. Even if you have not experienced the blessings of God's love for you in incredible ways yet, it will happen. The thing I have learned from being a mature Christian is this,, be patient. God will answer all prayers... in HIS time. And he answers ALL prayers... but the answer may be NO. As a Christian God has YOUR road map already laid out. He knows all about you and knows what's best for you.
Getting back to your situation... If I were you I would pray about this whole heartedly. It is very common for new Christians to get involved in many ways in the Church REALLY fast after they have been saved. This is GREAT. Don't get me wrong. But where the problem lies is when a task is taken on by a new Christian and then not completed. You have to realize you will be (and already are) a person of faith that young people look up to. You have young eyes upon you and that is a very scary thing. Many new Christians can't handle that. From what you have said about taking the youth to the conferences, it seems as though you have handled this well. The position of youth minister is probably the most important in a Church, in my eyes. You have the opportunity to change young lives. These young people are SO ready and willing to be MOLDED into Christian adults and you have the chance to do this! That is extremely exciting! If you do decide to accept this position I would strongly recommend speaking with your Senior Pastor on a daily basis and having him serve as your Mentor. I would also strongly recommend getting another youth minister in another church to serve as your mentor as well. These men will truely help and guide you through the struggles in your life and the lives of the youth. Don't for a second think you can do this all on your own... nobody can. You are doing a Godly thing that is for the sole purpose of spreading God's word!
The other side of this situation is this: and this is what scares me, don't be disapointed if the Pastor doesn't pick you for this position. God knows how much work you have done with these youth. He knows your place in the Church. Maybe God's plan is to have you help out and get more familiar with this position through another youth minister. All in all, pray that you have no hard feelings if they do hire someone else for the position. All that will do is allow the devil into your thoughts, mind and heart- and there's no room for him there.
I'm extremely happy to have met a new Christian. I look forward to talking w/you more on here! Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or want to talk. As everyone on this forum knows, my ears are always open. Now I'm not promising that I know everything about Christ or the Bible, but I'll sure help and use my resources to help!
It's funny, but I'm not entirely surprised that a lot of people are both Christians and hunters. Since I became a Christian, I've had this keen interest in hunting and owning firearms, and I'm not sure where it came from. But I also feel like I'm doing another small part to keep this country rooted to the beliefs under which it was founded ... Under God ... by voting, hunting, supporting the second amendment. None of these things I really cared about before I was saved. I'm not really sure why...
I just want to thank both of you, Timber and Tator, for your welcomes and encouragement. Tator, your advice was great and I will certainly be using it as I begin to figure out where I'm going with this. Especially the part about not being disappointed if I'm not chosen. I don't know that I won't be, but I won't fly off the deep end. This, I promise. :) No, in fact, I already have ideas in place, whether I'm a youth pastor, or simply lending a helping hand. I'd love to utilize my new love for hunting somehow when thinking of activities. Perhaps teach them archery, or skeet shooting after a lesson. Living in the country, these things are available to me ... and it would be exciting to get the kids involved in such things, and see where it goes.
I will certainly be praying about this; not that I'm chosen, but simply that God helps me understand exactly what I'm supposed to be doing with my walk. I appreciate your prayers, and look forward to getting involved on this forum. I like it already. :)
Well I'm happy to see that you are leaving it in God's hands. That's the right thing to do. I think that would be great to get kids involved in that sort of thing in your Church! Especially since (it sounds like) your Church is a small country Church.
Kids today need to learn those things and many times mom and dad either don't want to teach them or have the time.
It's extremely exciting to be a new Christian- but I think you already know that! After a few years, in my early 20's, of being stubborn towards God and trying to do things my way, I changed. For the better! I realized most of my friends were steering me down the wrong road and that If I wanted to be the best husband and "future daddy" I could be, I needed to stop hanging out with them so much. Alcohol was the main thing. I wasn't a raging alcoholic or anything, but my friends and I did drink every weekend, both Fri and Sat nights. I just got tired of it. The hangovers, the disapointing my parents, the fact of having NO money because I spent it on alcohol (I was one of those people when I got drunk I bought alcohol for EVERYBODY!) That seemed ok, until morning time! But all in all, I felt myself moving further and further away from God. and that scared me.
Youth today have so many temptations, as you already know. They have things tempting them that I never DREAMED of when I was their age. Sounds bad, but when we were teens we didn't have cell phones, internet, or even dish network TV! Youth today are harder to "get to". Their lives are so full of peer pressure and people urging them to live the "worldly life" instead of the Christ-like life.
You truely are doing a great thing Steve and I admire you for that. I also strongly recommend the mentor thing as well. Even if it's an elder in your Church that you can talk to at any time. Maybe one of the deacons? Surround yourself with Godly people, especially when Christianity is new. The devil fights a hard battle to get you back!
Very small church, but my pastor is a longtime, talented hunter, himself. I'm sure he'll welcome the idea, as well.
It sure is harder to get the youth these days. Even at the youth conference, I had to take one of my kids' phones away because I looked down the aisle and caught him browsing the internet on his phone during worship. Internet on their laptops, their phones, Ipads. You named it. And if that's not enough, the ear plugs from the Ipods are always plugged in, I can't tell if they're listening to music or me. Lol .. They are just kids and, despite the fact that they seem to be tuned out a great deal of the time, they're still listening. More importantly, they're watching, even when we think they're not. That fact helps keep me accountable in my own actions.
And no worries about being surrounded by Godly people. My wife is .. amazing. She's been a Christian her whole life, like you, and excels at the very things I sometimes fail at. She's truly my other half. And the devil may fight a hard and furious fight, but it's because he knows his time here on this earth is short. ;-) Mm, I love that verse.
So, what is your ministry, Tator?
It sounds like you have a good read on youth of today. I am a teacher (elementary) and I love every minute of it. Kids these days have so many distractions. My wife and I have a 2 1/2 y/o and another on the way in Aug. My wife laughs at me all the time because I constantly tell her things we're "not going to do with our kids"! One big problem is the whole video gaming thing. Now, don't get me wrong, I think video games can be educational and fun, but where the problem arrises is when the child is CONSTANTLY playing one. To me, that is not a good thing. Same with the TV. I'm guilty as the next person on wathing that box! But alot of kids today are watching 4-5 hours of TV a day and that's with SCHOOL taking up part of the day. It's rediculous. I have told me wife time and time again, I'm going to take our kids outside alot. I love going out into the woods and just walking around. Walking through the creek, and even looks for animal tracks. My father-in-law and I do alot of arrowhead hunting. I love every minute of being outside. My father, whom I love dearly, took me outside alot and played alot of sports with me when I was a child and taught me alot about building things. I am a visual learner, I've watched him do so many things with his hands that alot of things come easliy for me. However, growing up we seemed to NEVER have a place to hunt. We went a few times here and there, and we even owed 10 acres, but it was all open land and no deer graced us with their presence, ever! So it wasn't until I met my wife that hunting became a big deal to me. My father-in-law is a cattle farmer and so he's got 500+ acres available. I hunt about half of that because he leases the other half out to "big city hunters". :) My love for hunting EXPLODED. If there is one thing in this life that I could honestly say I'm obsessed about it's hunting whitetailed deer. I also enjoy hunting turkey, but I haven't been doing that as long and have yet to take my first turkey. One thing I love about hunting is the getting up early and watching God's earth wake up,,, or for that matter go to sleep at night. It's awesome. Teach those youth that. It's an AWESOME thing. It's my goal to take my kids out whenever they want and show them a good time out in nature rather than sitting in front of the computer or TV.
Getting back to the distractions, you won't believe some things I have witnessed in the school I teach at. There are kids in 1st grade with CELL PHONES!?!!? There are Kindergarteners with $300+ video games. There are kids in lower elementary tell me all the time about the flat screen in their room at home! (I don't even have a flat screen in my HOUSE!!!!) I think parents today rely too much on other people to do the parenting for them. That's why when the kids are home they are "entertained" with their gadgets. To me, it's because the parents don't know what to do with them! It's an "easy out" for them. Now, that said, I have also seen many parents who allow their kids to have these things, but they also restrict how much time they can spend on them. This to me, is a good thing.
Getting to your question, my ministry is on here brother! I try to post things time to time on here to help anyone out. Like I said there are alot of good Christian Hunters on this website and I constantly feel uplifted by them. Everyone is extremely respectful and cooperative.
As far as Church, I'm an active member (along with my family) of my Church. We have an AWESOME "young adult" Bible study class every Sunday morning. (we all think it's funny that it's called young adult b/c we're all in our 30's!) But our teachers are absolutely Godly people. They are a husband and wife who truely live their life for the Lord. I have been blessed to have them as my Bible study teachers for over 10 years! My church is fair in size, not huge, but not small. My wife is sort of like you, she is a new Christian too. She was saved when she was 24 and she's now 29. She truely is a great wife and wonderful mother. All in all, my Church has that small town feeling because we are a very tight nit group. I have been praying for you Steve and I hope that you will always look upon the Lord for anything you may need. Your doing a great thing helping these youth out. You are also still at an age where you understand that generation. People in their late 30's and into their 40's get aggrivated at this generation of teens because they don't see things like they do. It is quite possibly, the toughest generation to "get through to". But I'm sure you do a great job and keep up the good work!
Welcome to the forum but also welcome to the rest of your life,forever and ever.
It looks like God put you in a place that you really didn't expect to be!
Isn't it funny how God works, as a matter of fact it is absolutely amazing and at this time I'm betting there is no where you would rather be than with those young up and coming adults.
It is really great that you enjoy your ministery and you are probably pretty good at it.
So you're not sure, you don't know if you can do it, perhaps a little tinge of fear of failure. Welcome to being a human and man.
I got news for you , you can't do it! at least not alone.
You are God's child so call on your Heavenly Father for wisdom and strength
through His son Jesus Christ. As a Son of the most High God power is yours to use, not because of anything we have done but what Christ did for us (all of us, everyone, on the tree at Calvary and the empty tomb) but we must call upon God for it. Yes God know all your thoughts but he simply wants to hear it from you because he simply wants to be treated like your best friend. Go to Him in prayer and simply ask, Lord is this your calling for me? And wait for the answer, but from what you have said you are one of the fortunate ones to whom the answer is pretty clear.
If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it!
Awesome thought daddus!!! Too many times my mind tells me to not worry about praying or talking to God because he already knows my thoughts. This is true, but just like daddus said, he wants to hear it from you. awesome awesome awesome!
btw Steve, daddus1 is one of the "men" on this site I was talking about in the previous posts!
because HE lives...
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