On My Heart
As many of you know, I work for a church. A pretty large one here in the Pacific Northwest. We have an extremely thriving youth ministry. Just last week our Friday night youth 'hang-out' topped 200 kids! This is a great thing. God is certainly at work in powerful ways and I for one am grateful.
This kind of ministry takes a lot of work. Our youth leadership is top notch. It says a lot about their hard work and commitment when you see the continued growth in spiritual maturity and community that is taking place there.
Being a youth leader is a HUGE commitment. I've seen first hand the amount of time it takes to make it work. I've also seen the toll it can take on a person.
It's been said that the average youth pastor lasts approximately nine months at a church before they burn out. This is sad. Sad for the youth pastor, but even more sad for the kids that have invested their own growth in that persons leadership. I'll say it again, it's a HUGE commitment.
So perhaps this is why I've been thinking about Caleb and Sarah a lot these last few days.
Earlier this week, Qblog posted a link about Caleb and Sarah on his weekly 'Quixtar Chatter' column. Caleb and Sarah are youth pastors here in Washington who have recently celebrated their first anniversary as husband and wife. They have a link on their blog to another blog dedicated to their youth group. It too, looks to be an exciting time of spiritual enrichment for their church. A few days ago Sarah posted about her husband's recent venture into Quixtar IBOship.
She explained that she had reservations about the idea at first but now she thinks she's alright with it. She assured her readers that it wasn't an Amway or 'pyramid thingy', so not to worry. She went on to explain that she trusts her husband and her God and that she is sure that all will work out well. And I believe her.
I also believe that she's still concerned and unsure about all of this. I can tell this by what has happened over the course of time since the original post.
As critics, myself and others immediately commented on her blog to offer words of caution. The pro-camp countered accordingly. It soon got a little finger pointy and perhaps somewhat ugly. She has since deleted our comments and while we may not agree with it, I understand. I for one wish to apologize to both Caleb and Sarah for this as I'm sure that the intent of their blog was not to create a forum for their marital bumps but more, a place for family and friends to share in their life experiences with each other. I read through their entire blog last night and came to the realization that they are a Godly young couple who need the support and encouragement that any newlyweds do and that our bantering back and forth on their blog was neither polite or conducive to their relationship.
Do I still have concerns about their Quixtar involvement? Absolutely. I believe that this is a situation where they will need to take a close look at several issues in the coming months. They will need to decide whether or not making money (a little or a lot) at the expense and failure of others (including friends and family) is a Godly choice. They will need to be in full agreement on this endeavor as it will ultimately affect their marriage and their relationships. And I believe that they will ultimately need to decide on which is more important: their Quixtar business or their youth group. And this is a big deal. If they sincerely love the kids in their group and care about their spiritual growth, they need to be fair to them by deciding quickly which will be their focus. This may sound harsh but experience in both Quixtar and in youth leadership tells me that you cannot do both effectively.
I will continue to pray for Caleb and Sarah and I encourage you all to do the same. Critics or pros, it doesn't matter. Just pray for their discernment and wisdom to be defined by God so that they can decide what is their true calling. This is a big deal that will affect many kids' lives.
As a side note, I'd encourage us also to respect the spirit of their blog. It may seem to go against what we might consider to be a true blog but I really think their intent is to just communicate their lives to family and friends. I truly think they didn't expect this kind of reaction to simply typing the word 'Quixtar' on their blog. That's my opinion though, I could be wrong.
Good luck Caleb and Sarah. God bless.