A few years ago I heard a Christian pastor speak about the youth pastor that mentored him. This youth pastor took 8 students into a deeper walk with Jesus. He showed them how to live like Jesus. The type of relationship that Jesus demonstrates consistently in the New Testament with 12 disciples – at least in a similar way. What did the church do?
They fired him. Youth group wasn’t big enough.
The man telling the story – Francis Chan.
The church fired the youth pastor for mentoring a young man that would later become a world renown author, pastor, and speaker. Now I’m sure there is more to the story, but there are a few things we can learn from this.
Bigger isn’t always better. In the 3 years of ministry that Jesus had on earth, He spent half of his time discipling only 12 people. That seemed to work okay.
Life changing success can not be judged in the short term. Sure we can see more students bringing their bible and witnessing, but really we see dramatic change over the period of many years.
Man can see you as a failure, but God sees you as a success. Whatever the circumstances of his dismissal, I bet that youth pastor felt like a total failure. His family walked a very difficult and hurtful path during that season. You can guarantee he was lonely and felt like he made a poor career choice. However, he had just mentored a man that would reach thousands of people for Jesus. That sounds like success to me!