5 Things I Like: Life’s Little Joys
group magazine: January-February, 2012
by Troy Richards
Life is good, and God is even better. So it's tough to choose just five things that make me smile. But here are my top picks, in no particular order:
1 Music and worship. I firmly believe music is the language of God. I never realized how much playing for the worship team in high school meant to me until I was able to give that same opportunity to the kids in my ministry. It's amazing to watch them grow and even go on to lead worship elsewhere after they graduate. Every Sunday, I have the honor of using the gift God gave me to worship him. (Unfortunately, for some people, I just like to worship louder than others.)
2 Adult volunteers caring for students. I hated high school and had four different youth pastors during those years. If it weren't for families who helped out, welcomed us into their homes, led Bible studies, and went on every mission trip, I don't know where I'd be. I so appreciate all our adult leaders and love seeing them help reach out to kids who don't necessarily connect with me.
3 Star Wars. I still remember watching the first movie when my parents rented it on LaserDisc. Follow that with my first-ever Millennium Falcon and a handful of action figures, and I was hooked.
4 Spending quiet time at home. Unlike most youth pastors, I'm very much an introvert (I scored 100 percent on introversion on my last personality test). Don't get me wrong: I love spending time ministering to and hanging out with kids, but I really like my alone time. Relaxing at home with my wife and pet rabbit makes for a great night—as does my love of old books.
5 Seeing kids grow spiritually. Because I grew up in the church, I've seen many people just "go through the motions." That's one of my biggest pet peeves. What re-energizes me to keep doing ministry through thick and thin is the privilege of seeing young people "get it." I love when kids discover how they can live for God, find out who God created them to be, and decide to chase their dream to serve him. Any time I see someone move from a Sunday morning belief to a full-out life of loving and serving God, I get an extra boost of motivation. Because that's what it's really all about: helping kids live for Jesus.
TROY is a longtime youth pastor who lives in Indiana. He's also an indispensable leader on our Simply Youth Ministry Conference team.
Favorite TV Station: Food Network
Favorite Shirt: The one with holes my wife won't let me wear in public
Favorite Facebook Game: Bejeweled
Favorite Burrito: Grilled chicken with queso
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