December 7, 2017
3 Things I've Learned from Randy
As Randy Gilbert steps away from his 15 years as youth pastor at The Ridge, I can’t help but reminisce. While there are many more, here are 3 outstanding characteristics he has and what I’ve learned from him.
Fun. The 2 of us were sitting in his office recently remembering and laughing about the fun times. He reminded me of the time I went as a volunteer youth leader to Big Stuf (a Christian camp for teens). He put me in a room for a week with 6 (you read this correctly…S-I-X) incoming 7th grade boys. Have you ever spent a week in the same room with 6 incoming 7th grade boys? It was a traumatic experience for me (and maybe them). It doesn’t matter that one of those was my son. After 6 months of therapy (1 for each boy), I was fine. Once my face stopped twitching, I appreciated Randy even more! I learned how hard his job really is.
Faithful. Randy is faithful to God. Randy is faithful to God’s Word. Randy is faithful to his family. Randy has been faithful to our church. Randy has been faithful to his calling. I’ve learned from Randy that faithfulness as a youth pastor is sometimes defined by your patience with 7th graders.
Family. Randy has had such a significant impact on my kids. My oldest was a 7th grader when Randy arrived at our church as youth pastor straight from seminary. Randy has been all 3 of my kids’ youth pastor, starting in 7th grade. They all love and respect him. From how Randy related to my kids, I learned that you look at someone’s potential, not just what and who they are today.
(As a side note, I also learned that if Randy calls you from youth group and tells you that your son has a “little cut” on his forehead, your son might actually have an inch-wide gash in his head. Truthfully, Randy handled it like a pro.)
I’m celebrating 15 years of youth ministry!