Recently, Barna sent out a report about students and how they pick role models:
Teenagers’ preferences and tastes greatly influence America’s cultural identity. The people teenagers look up to as their role models matter a great deal in determining the shape and substance of the next generation of churchgoers, consumers and citizens. A study conducted by Barna Group among a national sample of teenagers gives new insight into whom teens select as their role models and why those individuals captured their attention.
This got me thinking: am I a role model to my students?
In student ministry, I don’t want to just teach about Jesus, I want to emulate Jesus in everything I do. So, I gotta ask myself the hard question: do I emulate Jesus, 24/7? Here my on this, I’m not about making “mini-Shawn’s” – the world only needs one of me. But if my faith and life sparks others to follow hardcore after Jesus, then I want God to use my life – my actions and words – to spur others on towards HIM!
I want my students to see Jesus in me, all the time:
- through my actions and responses
- through my words, and voice tones
- through my prayers and worship
- through my marriage – how I treat my wife
- through my family – how I respond and raise my kids
- through what I watch and listen to (movies, music, internet, etc)
- through my questions about faith and my journey of accepting God’s hard answers
I’m not looking for students to say, “Man, Shawn, you are the best of the best when it comes to Youth Pastors.” And, I’m not looking for them to say, “When I grow up I wanna be just like you.” However, I would be greatly pleased (and humbled) to hear them say, “I fell deeper in love with Jesus, because of you.” “I went into ministry because you influenced my life.” “I didn’t give up on God or myself, because you believed in me all the way.”
Again, it’s not about me; but rather it’s about Jesus being seen through me. That’s what I’m after – and I believe so is He.
So, how about you … are you a role model to your students? How?