Throughout my 9 years of parish youth ministry, I made a lot of friends: teens, fellow staff members, parents who loved me the Monday after a retreat because their son was doing the dishes without complaining.
But in all those years there was one man who topped them all. One man who understood me more than anyone else. One man would become the youth ministry superhero: our friendly maintenance man.
Oh how thankful I was for our maintenance man. While the bookkeeper couldn’t understand how chocolate syrup, marshmallows, and a marshmallow shooter could lead teens closer to Christ, the maintenance man had no questions, only suggestions:
“You know, Eric. If you take the marshmallow and dip it in butter first, you’d be surprised how far they go.”
“Oh great! I’ll have to try that!”
“And don’t worry about clean up. I’ll take care of that.” (He said as he gave me the wink and the gun.)
I absolutely loved the maintenance man at our parish. While the Parish Administrator would call me into her office because, “we can’t have banana squished into the carpet of the Parish Hall” (go figure), my maintenance man greeted me with high fives.
It didn’t matter what I needed.
100 chairs setup in circles of 5? Not a problem.
Hook up my laptop, speakers, LCD Projector, and DVD Player? No sweat.
The score to the NFL Sunday Night Football Game? Let me get that for you.
Our maintenance man always had my back, but if you ask me, he had something more. He had something that I wish more of us could find (including myself): a servant’s heart.
The maintenance man at my parish never got up and gave a great talk. He never led a small group. He never goofed around in the skit, but he was still a part of my Core Team, and he still witnessed Christ’s love to those teens every week.
Whether you get along with him or not, be sure to thank your friendly maintenance man sometime this week. Chances are he’s the unsung hero of your ministry, and it wouldn’t be the same without him.
Question: What parish staff member have you befriended? (Share below.)