I was talking with a Youth Pastor friend the other day about Pastoring students in this post Facebook era. He was concerned about a student of his who was putting stuff on their facebook and was worrying about them. I started to think and wonder about how truly things aren’t much different when me and this YP were in youth group together. Meaning we would have great services and really feel connected to God in the service and want to change our lives but then the next day or a couple of days later we would be in some form of trouble. But then the next time we would be in church and we would pursue God like it never happened. I realize that some of that for me at least was fake and putting on a show but not all of it was. There where some genuine times while I was in high school that I was pursuing God but I also had a lot of faults. My YP never new about them unless I told him or my parents told him.
The difference between then and now is FB and students put everything from how they feel to what words they used to cuss out the science teacher to what their mom was doing that morning that made them so mad.
As a YP it’s hard to have a deep conversation with a student about their relationship with God and then only to see the next day they got suspended from school for getting in a fight over a girl. It’s hard to balance when and what to engage each student with. I was called a FB creeper the other day because I engaged a student who in small group was expressing his struggle with sin and so I’m challenged him on some of the things that he was doing and putting on FB.
I don’t mind being called a FB creeper by this kid in my small group but I don’t want to be know as the pastor who knows all the dirt and creeps on pages. You would think students would be ok with this since they put it on FB but they aren’t.
So it’s a thin line that my team and I have to balance to be engaged with students and trusting God from week to week with these students. Using the info we get for prayer and when the Holy Spirit opens the door for us to engage we do so. I know the stuff me and my youth group friends got into and so I know my YP was worried and probably prayed often for us even though he didn’t have all the facts.