BY SONNY ARGUINZONI, JR.
Nearing the twenty-first century, we are faced with the harsh reality that although our world is advancing in many ways, it is also experiencing a steady decline in social values. It is important as a single youth leader to stay in touch with those values and teach them, as well as live by them.
We live in a fast paced “feel good” society in which today’s young people have no mentors or role models and have very few goals in life. Although it is very difficult to be a single youth pastor in this day in age, it is one of the most significant investments a Christian can make. As a single pastor, I have experienced many challenges and hardships. However, I have also found that because I am single, I am able to give all of my time, energy and effort to the Lord and to the ministry.
Of course there have also been many times of loneliness. This concept may be difficult to understand because people always see me surrounded by hundreds of young people. What a lot of people fail to understand is that when God gives us more responsibilities in the ministry, there is also much more required in a person’s personal life. You must be careful to keep your testimony above reproach at all times. It is important to make sure that we keep seemingly overwhelming temptations under control.
If there are questions arising within us, we must ask ourselves: · Have I attended to the child within me adequately? · Am I allowing myself healthy outlets? · Am I experiencing the love of God in a deeply personal way? · Am I in significant relationships with others? If you are questioning yourself or answer these questions in a derogatory way, seeking spiritual guidance may be the answer.
You must also evaluate how much you value yourself. Loving God, and taking care of yourself, should be of utmost importance in a single youth pastor’s life. Additionally, trusting God in the area of finding or waiting for a life partner is one of the most difficult issues to deal with. Sometimes we are not always convinced that God really has our best interest in mind.
Have you ever thought of viewing singleness as a gift from God? There are many benefits to thinking this way. With some work, one can develop a healthy level of security, responsibility and independence that can perhaps some day benefit that person’s marriage. For example, men can learn to cook, wash their own clothes, pay bills and clean the house. Women can learn to get their car fixed, repair a flat tire, pay bills, and understand the value of money. Both can learn a new appreciation for the opposite sex. Another plus to being single is to learn the importance of depending on God as well as establishing your own identity. This will also carry over and benefit you if/when you do get married.
I would like to leave you with some practical tips I have learned that keep me focused and spiritually fit as a single person in full-time ministry.
Focus – We need to stay focused on that to which God has called us. Phil 3:12 says, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Flee – The devil will send temptations our way. We must flee from them immediately. 2 Tim 2:22 says, “Flee the evil desires of youth…”
Friends – The bible says that there is strength in numbers. Accountability is the key. When we have someone to whom we can be accountable, it keeps us moving in the right direction. Ecc. 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one…”
Faithful – God honors those who are faithful to Him. Our faith is what carries us through not only the good times, but also times of loneliness, and through times of trial. Psalms 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…but his delight is in the law of the Lord.”
Sonny Arguinzoni, Jr. is the International Youth Leader of G.A.N.G. (God’s. Anointed. Now. Generation.) the youth ministry of Victory Outreach International.