I haven’t blogged in a while due to the large but wonderful burden of working on my thesis for my Masters degree. Now I have a little more time, so I am feeling the urge to blog again. Over the next few posts, I want to explore the topic of student formation in a temporary age. Here is the intro…Last week I was having lunch with a wonderful group of youth pastor friends from my denomination. Some of us are from small churches; others of us are from larger churches; some of us are full-time; others are part-time; some of us have been at this for many years; others have been at this for a few months. We discussed the formation of students. This of course is something very important to me. One of the observations that I made was that most youth pastors don’t have the skills to correctly evaluate themselves and their programs. Through my education– both formally through my Masters degree and informally through my pastor Chris Erdman, I have learned ways of reflecting on my experience. Slowly over the past few years I have completely transformed my way of pastoring students and their families. As my friends and I continued our conversation, I soon found myself in the spotlight– with fear and exhilaration pumping through my veins all at once. Exhilaration because I know that my experiences thus far have given me some insights that I think can be helpful to all in similar positions. Fear because I know that I am unable to be an expert or even great at enacting these insights on a daily basis. Yet, I was in the spotlight because the things I was saying were refreshing– because the ways we have normally practiced ministry normally drain us rather than refresh. Over the next few posts I want to explain some of these insights. The most important thing in all of this is that it recasts the concept of youth pastor into being an equipper rather than multifunctional, multitalented star of the show that it is normally cast into. Hopefully in writing about these it will also help me be able to articulate these things that I am trying to live in everyday a little better.