BY: ANTHONY ROE
A lot of people grow up dreaming to be a rock star. These days, the term “rockstar” is applied to much more than it was in the days of eighties bands. Now, athletes can be rock stars, movie stars can be rock stars, computer and software designers can be rock stars. The rock star life can be emulated. You don’t even have to live a rock and roll lifestyle to be a rock star. You can look, dress, tweet, insta, and talk like a rock star.
Now, the most un-cool of positions can achieve rock star status. This includes youth pastors. (Although I think youth pastors are the most hip). I heard someone say, “The Gospel came to the Greeks, and the Greeks turned it into a philosophy. The Gospel came to the Romans, and the Romans turned it into a system. The Gospel came to the Europeans, and the Europeans turned it into a culture. The Gospel came to America, and the Americans turned it into a business.” Rockstar and business mentality can lead to a huge EGO or Edging God Out. "Rockstar" mentality leads to impure motives and a huge ego, which is greatly damaging.
Ask yourself this gut level question, "Is my motive in youth ministry to become a rockstar?" Let me rephrase this question. "Is youth ministry all about me?" Rockstars can be demanding. Rockstars can be self-centered. Rockstars can be impatient. Let me encourage you to be opposite of this. Here are three essentials that will help you and your motives from falling into "rockstar" mentality in youth pastoring:
1. Be a leader. Lead love, lead giving, lead serving, lead compassion, lead purity, lead a move of God and lead loyalty. If you want a youth ministry that models giving, than lead it. If you want a youth ministry that models praying, than lead it. If you want a youth ministry that models purity, than lead it. Don't demand it. Rockstars demand. Youth Pastors lead.
2. Be others-centered. I know this is phrase is overused. But it is true. Focus on Jesus, your family, and your teenagers. Self-centeredness most often creeps in during our conversations and in our time. Rockstars stay in front of mirrors and cameras. Get out of being in front of a mirror and get in front of a window and look at others. Look for opportunities to serve and be grateful for interruptions. Rockstars are mirror people. Youth Pastors are window people.
3. Be patient. This is one is hard but it is essential. Teenagers require patience. You have heard it said many times, "Rules without relationships equal rebellion." It takes time or patience to have relationships. I know you have a list of students that you feel like giving up on. Keep paying those relational dues because someday they will pay off. Relationships matter the most! Rockstars are impatient. Youth pastors are relational and patient.
These three essentials will help keep you from falling into the trap of rockstar mentality. The Bible tells us "He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart." (1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV) I love the end of this verse, especially The Message translation. "When he comes, he will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of—inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the “Well done!” of God."
Someday God is going to tell you, no matter how large or small, no matter if you are in a city or a rural place, that "You are a real rockstar!" (Anthony International Version) Here is the truth. You are a real rockstar. You are a difference maker. You are a history maker. Just don't have the "rockstar" mentality.
Anthony and Kristi were youth pastors for over a decade. They presently serve as the Lead Pastors of Jones Assembly in the OKC metro. He has spoken in many youth camps, retreats, crusades, revivals, churches and conferences. Through his teaching, preaching, and relationships, he desires to lead people to Christ and to equip them to be like Him. Him and his wife both love youth pastors and youth leaders and the next generation. Anthony and Kristi have two children, Parker and Lily-Kate, and they reside in Jones.