the Monday Morning Debrief: Are you the Amanda Bynes of Youth Ministry?

Unknown-1Unless you have been tied up in a cave for a few weeks now, you should be well aware that Amanda Bynes has been on a social media and public relations roller-coaster recently. Whether it is her trouble with the law or social media run-ins with super-models, singers or celebrities, she has definitely caused some people to be concerned about her mental health.  Others have taken a different approach and came up with a PSA (Public Service Announcement) asking people to Stop Caring about Amanda.

Amanda started off a career in acting very strong and was popular with the tween and teen crowd. But, after her show was cancelled, she has never recovered in her career. However, instead of focusing on more projects and her trade, she has allowed her personal life to get out of control. Now with all these social media outburst, it would be surprising if any TV or Movie studios would want her and her “baggage” associated with them. There is too much risk involved.

So, how does this apply to ministry?

You may have started off ministry strong and had a very successful start. But, somewhere down the line maybe you got distracted and all of a sudden you started focusing on all the wrong things. What are those “things”?  They could be things like always  having to be right, always trying to have the upper hand and always having the attention focused on you.  You become so focused on the “politics” of church or your own ways that you forget that in your environment, you are doing Kingdom work.  You are working for a greater cause than just your ministry and what you think is right.

That is where we, as Youth, Children and Family Ministry Pastors have to take a look at our lives and what we are focusing on.  This sounds silly (especially in light of that PSA by Official Comedy), but don’t become like Amanda Bynes and focus on all the wrong things.  Take a look in the mirror and check where your mindset is.  Are you focused on kingdom work or are you distracted from what God is calling you to?  Don’t let the “politics” or our own selfish ambitions get in the way of what God wants to do in your life and ministry.  Because, as Amanda Bynes shows us, when we focus on all the wrong things, our life (and our ministry) can tailspin out of control and we just become something we were never intended to be.

Thoughts?  Experiences?  Share them below so that we can all benefit and learn from them.




Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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