I recently celebrated my 3rd year of serving in youth ministry at Word In Season International. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in communications and moved from Kingsville to Harlingen three years ago accepting a job offer at KVEO; a local T.V. station in Brownsville, TX.
That same year I married my beautiful wife, began attending WISI church, and later became the youth director. After seven months of being faithful to the ministry the opportunity came up to become full time staff at WISI church. My wife and I knew we couldn’t pass this up because it was God’s plan for us. So much has happened in just 3 years, but we have seen God’s hand upon us the entire time. I have gained greatly in these 3 years, here are a few things.
1. Always Honor
Without honor nothing can happen. Jesus showed us this when he goes into his hometown. He could not perform any miracles because the people never honored him. I believe we must be better at honoring those whom have gone before us. It is important to honor your Pastor who placed you on the platform you were given. He entrusted you to lead, so we must lead with honor. Remember; if you never honor, you will never receive honor.
2. Stay Hungry
No matter the length of time in your leadership role, we must always stay hungry. Always be hungry for the things of God. Remember the hunger that is within you will be contagious to those around you. If a few students catch that hunger, and become as hungry as you are things must change. When we took over our youth ministry it had about twenty students; we invested time into our core team of about ten students who were just as hungry to see God do something fresh and new. We continue to increase in hunger, and in numbers of students. Stay hungry, never come to a point in your life where you think you’ve seen and heard it all.
3. Stay Humble
Preaching is fun, especially when your students and others are giving you shout outs on social media or sharing your notes. But don’t get caught up in the mix. Stay focused on the purpose of discipleship. I learned that leading students is not about what you say from the pulpit; instead it’s the time you spent on the phone talking through a tough time, sending a text of encouragement, attending a game/event they are participating in, or having lunch etc. This will keep you humble at all times. Always remember we are doing ministry because Jesus has allowed us to. Continuing to stay humble and God will continue to lift you up; after all he knows exactly where he needs you. Humbleness speaks loudly of a person.
4. Stay Focused
Always read, always pray, always worship. Stay focused all day every day. Whenever your focus is on Jesus, it will be difficult to get distracted with what’s going on around us. There are times as leaders that we may feel unaccomplished, but if we stay focused on Jesus and not on other ministries around us, but firm in running your race, you will find a blessing. At times, we tend to lose focus because we have access to everyone’s social media and we can see what everyone else is doing. But remember these things, don’t compare, don’t compete and don’t complain; God has called you to something specific that no one else was called to do. Stay focused on fulfilling that calling, stay focused on Jesus and everything else will fall into place.
5. Don’t quit
“If you don’t quit you’ll win” - Chad Veach
In three years, I have experienced great ups, and downs. Students have come and gone. Ministry is not for the weak, it is for the strong. Like all battles, if you work harder than your opponent (the enemy) you will win! Don’t quit. The only way to be successful in the win is to be persistent in your growth and be relentless where God has placed you. A friend of mine said this, “We have accomplished so much because we have outlasted other leaders who quit.” Hang on my friend; keep pushing forward and always trusting in God because through him all the things you are praying for will come. The things you believe God to do will happen if you just keep on keeping on; run your race.
Noe Longoria is a passionate young leader who possesses the great combination of both influence and example. Starting with only a few students in their youth ministry a couple of years ago, today he leads a vibrant & growing youth ministry at Word In Season International in Harlingen, TX (www.wisichurch.org). He and his lovely wife, Maria are committed to winning, building, and sending students for Jesus Christ.