Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Do you remember where you were or what you were doing ten years ago? Unless there was a significant event or well documented experience it’s not likely you would. For me however, I vividly remember June of 2010. June 12, 2010 was my first day as youth pastor at West Salem Foursquare Church. After spending that morning with Pastor John and Pastor Rich talking through some of the administrative details, expectations and responsibilities of being a pastor at WSFC I found myself sitting at my desk in my little cubicle, fired up and ready to get to work as the new youth pastor. The only problem, I had no idea what to do. There I was, ready to change a generation, impress my fellow pastors, make our church family proud, and be viewed as “cool” by all the students, yet I was clueless as to the first step to even take. I just sat there, full of excitement and full of adrenaline, but not knowing where to direct it.
“What exactly does a youth pastor do?” I asked myself. The answer I came up with? “Read the Bible” So, I did- Philippians 2. Here are a few verses that stuck with me that day:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Do everything without complaining and arguing…
Philippians 2:3-8, 12-14
I know that Paul wrote this letter specifically to the church in Philippi thousands of years ago, but on that June day in 2010 I was sure he had written and addressed it to me specifically. It might as well been called Jonathans instead of Philippians. The question of what do I do as a youth pastor was now less foggy. The clarity I received was from a question I wasn’t even asking, “who do I want to be as a youth pastor?” That answer was now crystal clear. I knew I was full of excitement. I knew I was full of adrenaline. I had forgotten that I was also full of the Holy Spirit and no amount of excitement and adrenaline will ever accomplish that which the Holy Spirit has called us to.
A lot has changed over the last 10 years, but being called to the same attitude that Jesus had will not. I have not always been perfect in this, but the same grace that called me on June 12, 2010 is the same grace that brought me to June 12, 2020 and it’s the same grace that will get me to June 12, 2030.