About three years ago, a former intern of mine asked me to go on a journey with him to earn our master's degree of Practical Theology. We have just concluded that journey and what I discovered once again is that there is always room for more education. I had a goal and plan to have my master's degree by the time I was thirty but ministry got in the way. I took eleven masters level hours of sociology and those hours have greatly influenced my understanding of the way teenagers think and why they do what they do. But it took a long time to finally get back to education. So why take the time to get some more knowledge?
What I have discovered is if I keep learning on purpose from people who have a deeper understanding than I do, I start to think differently. It doesn't happen overnight but somehow I started to talk and think different than I did just a short time ago. I believe the same can be true for anyone who is willing to take the time to think, study and listen. I have been incredibly blessed to be in youth ministry for 26 years and most of that in one church. On the journey I have learned some things about seeing in the long view and not always in the immediate. Developing relationships is an amazing journey and as I was reflecting about this journey one of my students who has helped me in ministry asked a simple question: Do you have any teenagers whose parents were teenagers at Owasso when you came? The answer is that I have a bunch of sixth and seventh graders who I have sat at school lunch with their parents when they were students. So I have known these students all of their lives. Even before their parents were dating or married. There is something amazing about that. How does that happen? You stay in one place and learn to navigate all the things that come your way, from parents to pastors, from students to adult leaders.
How do you manage all of the multiple aspects of ministry? Trips, camp, student ministries, worship, discipleship, sports, etc.... the list becomes so long but there are principles to managing all of these things. I have taken this journey with hundreds of student leaders and many of them have ended up in full time ministry or on the mission field. I have given them their "10,000 hours of experience". Would you like to learn some of the basic principles that I have learned? I would be happy to share with you and take time to walk with you on this ministry journey. Why don't you click on contact and give me some information and I will get in touch with you.
Kevin W. Norwood