Just Playing Games

Yeah, I know. Most people don’t get it. They don’t understand what goes into pouring your heart into a service each week for young people. A night that will be fun, engaging, Spirit-breathed and memorable doesn’t came as easy as some people think. I know what they say. It’s been said to me before, too:

“Must be fun always being surrounded by candy bars and doing nothing but planning games all day.” 

Yeah… about sums it up.


How about a snapshot of just one of the days in a life of this youth pastor? Here’s a typical Wednesday for me…

I start off the day with a team of three of us laying down mats and setting up chairs and tables in our sanctuary for our Afterschool Program dinner. It generally takes about an hour.


Then I go up to the youth room and my office… we use iPads for attendance, service run-downs, during worship for our lead sheets, and for the speaker to read off notes during the message time. I start the day checking these to make sure they are charged and all of the day’s files have successfully transferred over.


Printed materials: for any week of ministry we print message hand-outs for students to scribble and take notes on, event hand-outs or forms, promotional posters, music sheets and service orders.


Here’s one of those run-sheets. We have about 14 volunteers — most of them student leaders — that get scheduled weekly as we plan out rally services that run from 3:40 to 6:30 pm.


Then there’s sound-checking and setting up the stage area for worship…


Setting up and staging the chairs…


Setting out the snacks for the night…

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Restocking the fridge and the snack shack area…


Preparing all of the media for worship, the message, promotions and activities…


And finally, the best part, greeting the kids as they arrive!

This doesn’t include all the promoting, communication, scheduling, prayer, time in Bible study and message prep, and service-planning that goes into this one night of ministry the rest of the week, too.

But, yeah… I guess it’s all just games and candy bars. Haha! My point is that ministry is much more than the 1-and-a-half to 3 hours you have students on-site each week. I know us in the trenches get that. I wanted to try and help paint a picture for some who maybe thought otherwise.

And we do it all for the love… some of this may seem like monotony, but there is so much of this that is just building a foundation for God to move, work and minister in students lives. And, don’t get me wrong… God can and will move, regardless, as we are faithful to serve Him, but because we love our students so much we do everything in our power to prepare with excellence. It’s just in our blood. It’s part of who we are called to be as we love God and serve students with a desire for them to grab hold of who they are in Christ!

What does your ministry-day and the preparation leading up to it look like?