Today on the blog I am welcoming my Youth Min friends Emma & Sarah from California. These two totally get how to do community and why it is so important. We are better together! I know you will enjoy what they have to say today!
Hi! We are Emma and Sarah and we run the blog, Twinistry. We are from the US of A, more specifically California (yew!), and even more specifically Orange County. We both are in full time youth ministry at mega churches and LOVE our jobs but LOVE our students even more. We were so excited when Hannah reached out to us to guest post on each other’s blogs because we are HUGE fans of the community that should take place between youth pastors both locally and globally. Ministry was created by God to be done together. Our theme verse is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” We have experienced this in a unique way through our twinship (I don’t think that’s a word but it is now) and are excited to share some of our thoughts with you all.
We are “Twiny Twins.” We are the type of twins who are best friends, dress similarly, talk the same, say things at the same time, enjoy the same hobbies, have the same friends… ok you get the picture. We are TWINS. Don’t worry we aren’t the weird kind of twins that hold hands and match our clothing as grown adults (if you are reading this and are a twin like that we half heartedly apologize). Growing up we definitely enjoyed doing things together but we never thought, in a million years, that we would have the same career someday. God had a different plan. Our unique ministry relationship has helped us fully experience the benefit of doing ministry together. We’ve picked each other up when we’re feeling low, we’ve reminded each other why we got into ministry in the first place when we’re having a tough time remembering, we’ve shared crazy service ideas with each other, we’ve listened to each other’s early on (not very good) sermons, we’ve celebrated with each other, we’ve done crazy DIYs together, and the list goes on! Everyone should experience this; everyone should experience the joy of sharing ministry with others. We are designed to be in community, hello Genesis. We are designed to do ministry together, hello 12 Disciples. By doing ministry with others you have people to encourage you and spur you on. You have people to check in on you and provide healthy accountability. You have people to bounce ideas off of so you can find that perfectly crazy and gross game. You have people to cry tears of sadness with you when your students are breaking your heart and cry tears of joy when God is moving in powerful ways. DO MINISTRY WITH OTHERS.
If doing ministry in community with others is a desire of your heart (it should be) there are three types of community you need to pursue.
1. Pursue One on One Community.
We believe One on One community is the best way to be known and transparent. Who is your one person who knows when it’s good and when it’s bad? This person could be in ministry or at the very least should be someone who understands this weird calling you have and knows the right questions to ask. We love Hebrews 10:24-25, it says “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” One on one relationships like this have to be intentional, have to stir each other up, should encourage, and should MEET TOGETHER. Who is your one person? Do you meet consistently with them?
2. Pursue Community in the Trenches.
“In the trenches” simply means pursuing community with other youth pastors! Every month in a central city we meet at a coffee shop with youth pastors from the surrounding area. We simply share the joys and heartache of ministry over a cup o’ joe. This time is so precious. We pick each other’s brains about new ideas, share the most embarrassing moments, and learn from each other. The reality is our job, as a youth pastor, is veryyyyyy unique and just to sit around a table with people who get you is comforting. Those times remind us of Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Do you know any other youth workers? How are you fostering those relationships?
3. Pursue Community Outside your Church.
We are lucky to have a group of friends that we have known since high school. They all love Jesus but are connected to other churches and are not in vocational ministry. Spending time with them is life giving! At church you are often known for being the youth pastor, but not truly known. Because of that it often feels like the day to day is a lot of first impressions. So it’s nice to be around people that see you for you and not the initial layer, “pastor.” It’s nice to be a normal person from time to time, to feel like a normal 22 year old, normal dad, normal mom, normal friend, or whatever you are! Who are your people you have community with outside your church and church staff? Who sees you as (insert name here) and not Pastor?
These areas listed above are hard to make time for but crucial to fight for. Ministry can be a lonely place and it can be full of so many peaks and valleys. Share those peaks and valleys with people! Value One on One relationship, set up consistent times to meet with one another! Know the fellow youth pastors in your area, hold tightly to the rag tag youth ministry family you came from and are a part of. Be known by your name and not your title! Find people outside the church to be connected to! So sum it all up. Be known. Two are better than one. We are all better together.
-E & S