let’s cut the jokes

last week my husband came home from a youth ministry meeting with a stack of books, and as usual, i stole most of them from him when he wasn’t looking!

one of the books i picked up was mark riddle’s “inside the mind of youth pastors.” as i flipped through the book, i was immediately drawn to one chapter “unfunny jokes the church keeps telling.” mark begins the chapter with a story from a youth leader named bruce:

“i’m disappointed when my pastor, in the context of a staff meeting or a public forum, chooses to use the youth ministry or me personally as an object of teasing or joking or sarcasm, as if to say, ‘well, we can’t really take him seriously because he’s the youth pastor,’ or ‘well, it’s not really that big a deal because it’s the youth pastor.’ in fact, that’s the exact opposite of what i hope from my pastor” (p.141).

since reading this chapter last week, i’ve been to two different corporate worship services and at each, i heard the speakers make a joke about the youth pastor. this is not ok. in fact, it’s a little embarrassing.

children’s leaders, let’s lead the way. no more jokes. i’m guilty of it, too. although sometimes i don’t say the jokes or the statements of judgment that i’m thinking out loud, it’s still not ok.  if we want to spiritually form children – then we must partner together, encourage, and empower our youth ministry colleagues.

thanks, mark for the challenge to us all.


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