Law of First “Instance”

Even though I have not been a youth pastor very long I already have a long list of regrets. One is that I did not maximize the “Law of First ‘Instance’” Meaning that I started many things poorly and they still suffer from it today.

A couple of examples that you might relate with…

  • The church announced work days and I did not emphasis the importance of the students being there.
  • I announced a visitation program and did not get it going well for them on Saturdays.
  • I gave a “read the Bible daily challenge” and did not follow up correctly.
  • And many other things…

It is much like this. Today I taught at a public high school for a friend of mine. I knew the way I reponded to the first silly question they would ask me about Peru during the Q & A time would set the pattern for every question to follow. I knew if I could handle the first silly question deliberatly then others would see to ask serious questions.

It is hard to make up for the first impression or expression. There are things I see that I did not make a big deal at in the beginning that when the first instance came up I wishI would have handled it immediately. Now when  I speak about the things already started that are not going so well I do not have the benefit of it seeming to be new and exciting. They think “He has already spoken about Saturday Visitation and none of my friends go or talk about it so it must not be that great”.

I have a close buddy in China.. and he is having many first instances. Below you will find about a wall needing to be painted. It may seem like a small thing. But it was a first instance for a group of believers and may make the difference between my friends having plenty of help to work and painting walls by themselves in a few years.

“So we met our visitors last night for dinner at about six. We had told a bunch of the students that we were going to meet to paint the second room at 7:30. So we gave T. the keys to the place and asked her to open the door for whoever came and give them a crash course in her newfound painting skills. We didn’t get into a taxi to head over to the new place until about 8:00, so we had no idea what was going on. If anyone had showed up or not. En route, we get a text message from J., telling us that he’s at the door, but no one’s answering. Great. So we were a little worried.

But when we showed up, there were about ten students or so painting away…. (read entire blog)

About the author

Trent serves as an Associate Pastor at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. He writes, speaks, and helps lead events that encourage people to "pioneer" in the work of sending.

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