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I dont know about you, but ive been inexplicably entertained/interested in the Peyton Manning drama that was going on for the last several weeks. As a seahawks fan, when they were first mentioned, it became a daily task for me to check in and see if they were being mentioned anymore, and then it became a task of hoping he wouldnt choose the 49ers.
But there’s another side to this story that I resonate with, and that most likely you do, too. There’s actually several aspects.
First, I resonate with the way Peyton Manning felt in that Press Conference from March 7th. He loved the Indianapolis Colts Football organization, the fans, everyone involved. But they were telling him “We no longer want you, its not that your not great, your just not great for us anymore.” Even if the for the last year, Peyton Manning has wanted to get out of Indianopolis, thats never a fun realization to come to.
As Youth Pastors, we get this, because even if for several months we have been throwing our resume at anything and everything with “Church” in its name, we hate leaving our students, and we will go through this same ordeal of essentially being told by a few “We no longer want you.”
But the biggest thing about this episode in the NFL will not involve Peyton Manning directly, he can move on to Denver and just focus on doing what he needs/ wants to do.
No, the part most Youth Pastors understand is the part of Andrew Luck. Here is a guy full of promise and potential. The owner of the Colts see’s so much in him he is willing to let one of the greatest quarterbacks leave the team so that they can go after this guy. The Colts believe in Andrew Luck, and they want to do anything and everything they can do to set him up for success.
But, he will never be Peyton Manning. Unfortunately for Luck, for at least the next few years, every Mistake and bad decision he makes will be met with the criticism “Manning would have NEVER done that. How dumb were we to have let Manning go?” by fans. And unless the Colts come out and this year win the Superbowl, even Andrew Luck’s greatest accompishments and successes these next few years will be taken with a grain of salt by many fans, because sure, he won some games this year, but Manning used to win 11 every year, guaranteed.
As Youth Pastors, we get this same spiel. Coming into a new ministry is one of the most exciting times in our minesterial careers, as well as one of the scariest. Youth Pastors in new positions are some of the most optimistic people in the world, because in their eyes, the new students are the best and so rooted in their faith, the worship team that knows 3 songs is the greatest Youth Worship Team ever because it belongs to this amazing church this new youth pastor is at, and speaking of the church, they can do no wrong.
It’s an incredibly optimistic time, and its great.
But if you are replacing someone, you will quickly run into problems not to different from what Andrew Luck will get to experience beginning this summer. It’s an unfortunate truth, but the fact of the matter is that it happens all too often.
And even if your not replacing the Peyton Manning of Youth Pastors, just keep in mind, even Ryan Leaf had fans who didnt want him to leave.