Things I’ve Never Said as a Youth Pastor

I didn’t do this in the 1980s when we (all of the youth pastors) didn’t know what we were doing. I didn’t do this in the 1990s when we thought we knew everything. I haven’t done this in the 2000s nor the 2010s or in the 2020s as I’m still a youth pastor.

  • I’ve never read I Kissed Dating Goodbye so I never taught anything out of that book.
  • I’ve never taught how to A-frame hug. You know this type of hug. The one you hug and lean forward but don’t allow any body parts to touch.
  • I’ve never taught to side hug either.
  • I’ve never said “guard your heart.” Somehow I didn’t even hear that overused phrase until about 10 years ago. I missed that wrong and silly message completely.
  • I’ve never said to a couple dating in youth group, “When’s your wedding date?” Because it’s stupid. They are going to break up soon. And I never wanted to idolize marriage.
  • I never threw a purity ball.
  • I never had a “modesty sweatshirt” available for anyone. Never heard of that mess of an idea ‘til recently.
  • I’ve never shamed a girl for having her clavicle showing. I do remember me being shamed as a speaker at a youth Bible camp when I was in my 30s for wearing shorts that extended beyond my fingertips.
  • I’ve never said “modest is hottest.”
  • I’ve never asked my husband to wear a t-shirt that says how hot I am as a wife. I don’t need to be sexualized like that just because I’m married now.
  • I’ve never said this catchy phrase, “Waiting for my “Boaz” and refusing to date “bozos.”
  • I’ve never passed around a heart-shaped paper representing your heart and asked everyone to rip a piece off. Nor did I squeeze toothpaste out of a tube and show how it couldn’t be put back in again.
  • I’ve never asked anyone to date Jesus or have Jesus as your boyfriend. That is so not the same thing as a real boyfriend.
  • I’ve never said you are “God’s princess” either. I want my girls to be more than princesses.
  • I’ve never said “You are in a single season.” You are single now so live your life to the full. Not as a temporary season to pass through. I lived my life this way before I got married (15 years single in full-time ministry) and I’ve encouraged the singles at my church and all of my graduated teens to live this way.
  • I pray that I’ve never shamed anyone when I talked about love from the pulpit (or youth stage) or when I talked one-to-one with the many many teens who have asked me about this. My intention has never been to shame. I hope I’ve been consistent about that. But in the moment I know I am capable of saying something that could easily be understood as shame. I know I’m capable of that and I apologize.

I’m sorry something was said to you by a good-intentioned youth pastor that has messed up your thinking now.May you find hope, inspiration, and your worth here at Brave Dating. I’ve been at this for a long time and find such joy when I see my beloveds find their good match. I’m sharing my guts here through Brave Dating so you can too.

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New Bible Study:  Trust Issues with God With Video

Life is unfair. When the unfair thing happens, we look for a reason, a solution, a purpose, justice. These are all things we expect from God. When God doesn’t deliver when we expect or need him to, there is a gap in our understanding of who God is. This Bible study is to help you fill in that gap with trust over suspicion by exploring the truths of the Bible, both individually and in a group setting.

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