Youth Pastor Super Heroes 

Think about to when you were in youth. Who was your youth pastor? I had a few (Mark Chandler and Spencer McCoy) but never realized how much they really did for me. Now, as a wife of a youth pastor, I have a behind the scenes view of all that really happens. Youth pastors are super heroes!


These men who devote themselves to leading teenagers toward God do so much more than plan trips to Six Flags and teach a bible lesson once a week (which I do believe is what 16 year old Kyle Ruff thought they did). They see a hurting student and take them fishing. They see a crisis in a young person’s family and go to the hospital to just be there. They hear a student share the gospel with a child and text the parent to encourage them. They spend a week on local mission, basically without sleep,  and then leave with the youth group on another mission trip across the country. They listen to girls cry and some lucky pastors have wives to send them to (others learn to handle girl tears). They guide boys on how to handle being turned down by the girl they like. They make crazy videos to get the group pumped for events and lessons. They love on smelly teens after long days of work, fun, or …some teens just smell. They wrangle up volunteers for summer camp. They pray for teens by name daily. They lift up other youth pastors and bear each other’s burdens. They share there hearts with their church families. They write curriculum for events which they may not even be attending. They share Jesus as much as they can work it in (which is more often than you would think). They go to sporting events, concerts, graduations, birthday parties, and other life events for students. They… I could keep going, but I think you get it. 

Youth pastors give so much of themselves and ask so little in return. My husband is just part time, but his time is not his own. It is our students’. I love how he sees a need and instantly wants to take care of it. It doesn’t matter that technically he doesn’t work today…super heroes don’t have set working hours, and neither do youth pastors. 

Today, take the time to encourage your youth pastor, or your student’s youth pastor. 

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Sometimes I have to Walk Away

Today was tough. Not all day, but when I had to walk away. There are points in my life and marriage when I simply have to walk away. 
Being a youth pastor’s wife (and I’m sure, any ministerial wife) has its challenges. One of the challenges I am faced with occasionally is not know what to do, say, or think about something my husband is struggling with. Maybe it’s a message he has prepared and can’t seem to get to a good point in. Maybe it is church politics (every church has them). Maybe it is picking and choosing between church events and resting or going to family gatherings. The list could go on forever. 

So many times I wonder what he wants me to say, think, or do. Many times I try to gauge if he needs me to build him up or put him in his place. Should I point out that he is being ridiculous? Am I suppose to continue to compliment his 3 point message with its alliteration? How does he expect me to respond to this? 

Today, I didn’t know what else to tell him. I didn’t know how else to help. I simply had to walk away. I grabbed my pool bag and a book (Wonder Struck by Margaret Feinberg) and left. Not out of anger or even frustration, but because he needed a day to just sit, think, pray, contemplate, seek advice, … A day to just be. 

I hate walking away, but more than that I hate watching him struggle. I want to help him fix it. I want to be his friend, helper, soulmate. But today I couldn’t help any more than I had tried. 

It’s hard, marriage that is. 
I’m back at home now. About to eat dinner with my sweet husband. I hope and pray he is in a better place, but know that either way, God will take care of him even when I don’t know how to. 

A Mom to Teenagers

No, I have never given birth. No, we did not adopt. No, we do not foster. However, when one of the teenagers in our youth group needs us, we jump into action and become “parents” whenever. 

Thursday night we hosted our small group bible study. After everyone had left and I was cleaning up, Kyle tells me one of the girls in the youth group is having family problems and may need a place to stay. Well, let’s go get her. It turned out her stepdad had taken her back to her mom from a friends house that night, but last night she stayed with us.

I love the students in my class, but the teenagers in the youth group have me wrapped around their fingers, especially this young lady. 

Don’t worry. Her parents know she is with us! We had an ice cream outing last night, followed by her picking a movie (Star Wars) to watch at home. Today she will either tag along with us to a couples shower and Mother’s Day/birthday dinner or go hangout with some other girls from our youth group. 

I love that she feels safe with us, wants to stay with us, and knows she is loved by us! Being a youth pastor’s wife means so much more than going to camp, Six Flags, and church every time the door is open. It means loving teenagers and helping them the way Christ would in some of the most difficult times in their lives. 

If you can, stop for a minute and pray for this young lady and her family! She could use some comfort and peace in the storm her family is in. 

Becoming a Youth Pastor’s Wife

As some of you may have read in a previous post (here), Kyle and I met as teenagers…so obviously he wasn’t a youth pastor when we began dating. Even when we were engaged and first married, Kyle wasn’t in the ministry. However, I knew he would be in the ministry one day. 

Let me explain.

Kyle first felt called into ministry as a 16 year old but soon realized that he did not want to be a pastor. He told me this pretty early on in our dating. I knew that God’s calling on someone’s life didn’t go away when that person didn’t want to do it. I knew that eventually God would bring Kyle into a ministry job and he would follow the calling. 

I was not one of those girls who wanted to marry a pastor or sought out guys with that calling on their lives. I am not saying it is wrong if you did, but that just wasn’t me. I was raised by an architect and an accountant. My parents are godly people, but I never would have pictured myself as a pastor’s wife. However, my Great Aunt Sonya is a school teacher and is married to a pastor. I have always loved and adored her. I enjoy hearing ministry and missions stories when they visit and look up to her. So Kyle having a calling on his life didn’t scare me away. 

When we first married, Kyle was an accounts receivable clerk for an auto auction. He made decent money and was able to support us until I found a job. After almost 6 months of marriage he was laid off. We believe this was God’s way of getting Kyle on a mission trip he felt he was supposed to be on but his boss wouldn’t give him time off. Kyle went on the mission trip and God made it very clear that Kyle was supposed to be a youth pastor. 

He came home and wanted to enroll in school for ministry. He started volunteering heavily in our church’s youth ministry. He was focused on following God’s call and becoming a full time youth pastor…eventually. 


I knew at this point that we were in this…together. I had known this was coming for years and have always had a deep conviction that Kyle’s ministry would be mine also. I want to be involved in his work, ministry, and calling. I go on the youth trips. I attend the conferences and events. I listen to and encourage our students. 

Sometimes people ask me what my reaction to Kyle taking a ministry job was. And to be honest, I tell them that I knew it was coming. No he hasn’t always been a youth pastor, but I knew that God’s calling was still there. 

So here I am, a youth pastor’s wife. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

He Was Ready

About nine months after God placed the desire to be a mom in my heart, Kyle asked me to read Psalm 127 out loud. I remember this like it was yesterday. We were in our kitchen, standing together. I read,

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court.

At the end of reading this passage Kyle just looked at me like I was suppose to read his mind. Please understand that my husband is a youth pastor currently in a bible college. He could have been telling me something he was excited about from school, studying for a sermon, ANYTHING!

When I didn’t begin to jump up and down with joy, Kyle became a little irritated. After months of me asking him about it and praying about it I wasn’t excited, but I truly didn’t know what he wanted me to take out of this passage.

After we were both on the same page, we prayed together and began out exciting journey to parenthood! This passage still makes my heart quicken and reminds me how blessed we are. God is so good!