Lately I have made some comments about not watching T.V. Or talking down to youth pastors who come home from their midweek service and watch Netflix.
This is not an original thought. I am 100% ripping this concept off of a dude named Gary Vanerchuk.
I didn’t always hold this view. In fact I kind of disagreed with him.
I have always been a balance type guy. I have grow up hearing about burnout in ministry and have always considered the phrase “Burning the candle at both ends” as a cautionary tale.
In 2011 I left my full time Associate pastors position and became a freelance copywriter and marketer.
This world was full of pro workaholic ideas and as a kind of lazy married guy with two kids, I always reminded myself that they where younger than me and single.
I used my family and God to cover up my laziness.
Then something happened.
About a month into a new youth ministry position one of my students killed himself.
I have never delt with something like this before but did my best to be there for his friends and the other effected students.
I didn’t know him very well. I had only met him three times. Twice in Sunday School and at a Halloween lock-in.
About two weeks after the funeral I was going through the pictures on my phone and found one of a list of students I wanted to follow up with.
Guess who’s name was at the top of the list?
I stared at the phone for at least five minutes not sure what to make of it.
I have never been the type of person to blame myself for other people’s actions. Or to play the “If I had only” game, but this list was demanding I rethink my entire work/life balance worldview.
One question haunted me for the rest of the week. “What was I doing to stay so busy that I hadn’t had the time to reach out to this kid and see how he was doing?
So I did a self evaluation.
What I found was that time was not the issue. It was an issue of priorities.
I discovered that most nights I came home and relaxed with a few shows on Netflix.
The flash was my favorite, but Law & order was a close second.
Because I felt I deserved a reward from a long day, long compared to bankers hours, things like following up with students who haven’t been around for a few weeks where falling through the cracks.
Back to Gary Vee.
If this loud mouthed, hyper opinionated (Gary if your reading I mean that with the utmost respect and am confident you will take it as a compliment) dude from New Jersey is living all out to sell first wine, now build brands, and ultimately to buy the Jets, then maybe I could work a little harder and sacrifice a little more, to poor into the lives of the teens who’s lives I have been entrusted.