Today is October 31, 2014. It was exactly 15 years ago that my wife, Cherith, and I came to Arkansas to be the Kids Pastors at First NLR. What a ride it has been! We have been blessed to serve under two incredible pastors, Dr. Alton Garrison (the first 18 months) and Rod Loy (the past 13.5 years). To serve on such an incredible team (many of whom have been along for MOST of the ride as well) is more of a blessing than I could describe.
There's something to be said about longevity in ministry - especially longevity in ONE place. I am so thankful to have been able to remain in one place for this long. Sadly, this is not the norm.
Probably all of us in ministry have heard the stats, and they are troubling. The average Children/Youth Minister only stays at his current church for about 18 - 24 months. Some studies have stated that it may be more like 3 years, and others I have seen say it’s more like 9-11 months. But suffice it to say, the tenure of the average Children/Youth Minister is way too short.
When you move on too quickly, you miss out on the incredible benefits of longevity in ministry:
Longevity in ministry may be rare, but I believe that is slowly changing. As Kids Ministry Leaders begin to recognize the benefits of longevity, this will begin to become the norm instead of the exception. I am so thankful to God that I have had the opportunity to serve First NLR for the past 15 years, and I pray that I have another 15 (or more) left in me!
What about you? What are some benefits to longevity that I may have missed?