Back in the Saddle

I’ve often heard that once you’ve done something, you’ll always be able to do it.
“Just like riding a bicycle,” or so the saying goes.

I really hope this is the case.
In a new town, at a new church, with a new pastor, I’m getting back into leading a student ministry.
From the ground up, with endless possibilities.

How did this come about, seemingly out of the blue, you ask?
Well, pretty much exactly like that.

Out of the blue.

You see, although I haven’t led a student ministry in just a shade over three years, I have been involved over the last two.
I’ve been leading 11th grade guys small groups at Fathom, the student ministry of Asbury UMC.
Even that took a year to be willing to attempt.

Let’s back up to March 2009.

When I left my first student ministry, the job and the kids aren’t all that was left behind.
My ego was bruised.
My confidence was broken.
My faith took a punch as well.

I needed to take the time to heal, to pick up the pieces, to re-evaluate who I am.

The details of that particular journey are a bit more complex than I care to divulge in this particular post.
The important thing is that the journey did take place.

The main lesson I managed to take away from that is that faith isn’t what I’d always been taught.
Faith is paradox, beautiful and painful all at once.

When there are no bumps and bruises to show for your faith, then your faith may not be what you think.
Without doubt, without something or someone to wrestle with, faith tends to lose its significance.

For two years, my time has been given to 11th grade guys.
And I began to see that this really is what I was made for.
Being with the teenagers is what made me feel most alive.

Then there was the tug.
I knew that God would use me again in ministry in the bigger picture.
What I didn’t know, however, was the when and where.

Though I wasn’t exactly looking around for that answer.
After all, my confidence still wasn’t/isn’t what it had been before.
I still had uncertainties not about how God would use me, but whether I would be up to the task.

I had mentioned this to my 11th grade guys on a Sunday night.
A couple weeks later, I receive this text:
“Hey Kyle, my dad’s church is looking for a part time youth pastor and I thought of you. If you want to look into it, his number is…”

I looked into it.
I updated my resume, submitted the application, and went for an interview…the whole time with my stomach in anxious knots.

Pointless anxiety.
I knew that God had a plan.
If this is where I was to go to begin again, He would make it clear.
If it wasn’t, He would close the door.

Now here I am.
Looking at a fresh start in ministry.
With a church whose congregation can’t possibly have preconceived notions about me.
In a city where my own identity has less to do with who I was in high school, and more to do with who I am now.

Three years after falling off and getting scraped and bruised, it’s time to get back in the saddle.
And pray to God that it’s just like riding a bike.

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3 thoughts on “Back in the Saddle

  1. Kyle, I’ve been praying for you and this decision for weeks. I’m incredibly happy for you and Kelli and proud for you both as well. God always has a plan and it’s always greater than anything we can imagine. He will use you and your bride-to-be in incredibly ways within this new church! He will guide you and show you exactly how to lead. I’m not going to wish you luck because God’s got this! Now, don’t quit Monday nights and tell Kelli to hurry up and graduate and move up here! 🙂

  2. kyle, i am so excited for you. you know those kids will love you and your crazy laugh. Your love for Jesus is contagious.. and if you need ideas for excitement in the class, you can always hit luann and me up for ideas. hahaha. you will always get a laugh for sure.. so with that in mind sometimes a burr placed in just the right place… where it really hurts… nudges you just the right way to get out of your comfort zone and do wonders for God’s kingdom. love you so much, if you need anything just holler.
    margaret walker

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