An Open Letter To My High School Youth Pastor

September 10, 2013

An open letter to my high school youth pastor. {But really for all of you serving the Kingdom who wonder if perhaps you serve in vain}.

Dear Dane,

We haven’t talked much in sixteen years.

But I see you. A sower of seeds, a servant in the Kingdom. Toiling faithfully through all seasons. Knowing that the appointed harvest time may come in a day, a week, a month, or even another lifetime. And this Kingdom work {was} is hard, and sometimes wounding.

And yet still you planted … seeds of Truth, of the gospel, of losing your life to gain it. 

And just in case you were wondering if you labored in vain … if you ever doubted for a second the Master Gardener and His plan …

Your seeds have a way of spreading.  

In just one medium sized town in north Georgia, you planted Truth into the hearts of future healers, military wives, pastors’ wives, teachers, missionaries, and writers. Of mothers and fathers raising their own babes now. Even as I type, Second Son is cradled on my chest, and I pray hope and a saving grace for this wee heart beating in concert with mine.

Your passion for the Savior and boldness for the Gospel cut a wide swath across our teenage landscape.

You taught me to love the Word. 

To treasure Scripture and dig deep through its pages for Daily Bread. And now, when I pour out my heart in this space and I share the very same Truth with the souls wandering here … Lord willing, the Gospel blooms again from a plant you had a hand in growing, new seeds in fresh soil sprouting.

We are Kingdom workers all, venturing out across the continents to tend our own fields.

Thank you. A million times, thank you.

And now, now you wade into battle for your physical life in much the same way you fought for our souls. And we, the fruit of sixteen-ish years ago, we are warring with you.

With much love and an abundance of prayers.


{And yes – with a heaping measure of grace, and the Holy Spirit – we did good.}

 My high school youth pastor was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 48. Please go here to read more about the faith of this dear friend and Godly man. It will  bless you and encourage you. 

Linking up with Imperfect Prose and #TellHisStory.

More about Molly Huggins

I am an unrepentant extrovert with an ongoing, passionate affair with coffee, ellipses, and the written word. I write because it’s how I’m made to worship. I am a story teller, because redemption has a story to tell. And always, I want to be a story collector. So have a virtual seat at my beat-up kitchen table. Read my story. Tell me yours. Stay awhile. And P.S. ... for more about me, click on my mug in the sidebar;)

    1. As my youth pastor, mentor, leader, and best friend, Dane has given me undeniable direction and lessons that I will forever apply to my life. Sower of seeds is a perfect way to describe Dane, I’ve seen the seed spreading for seven years now, in different towns, states, countries, continents, and languages! His impact around the world is remarkable, thanks for sharing!

      1. Thank you for writing in this space … I love knowing that his impact continues. We are praying for him and for you.

    1. Loved this. (Found you via imperfect prose.) I became a Christian in a youth group and see the way seeds were planted, and now my husband is a youth pastor, so I am constantly encouraging him to the mysterious ways in which God is working in the hearts, using him in often unseen ways. Very encouraging, and so sad about his tumor! May God use even that for his glory.

      1. Oh I’m so glad this an encouragement. And I know God is already working in the hearts of those Dane impacted. Always for His glory. {And thank you for serving our youth … }.

    1. Such heartfelt gratitude… a true blessing to Dane and to God who called him to spread the seeds of hope. Prayers for Dane and those who love him.

    1. Love to read something like this! Not about his illness, but the good that came from a life spent for the Kingdom. I found you at Imperfect Prose.

    1. This is just wonderful. I hope that your youth pastor gets a chance to read this. (I’m imagining that it would cheer him greatly.) And I hope that many other youth pastors and ministry leaders read this as well.

      1. Thank you … I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way about him. I think a lot of people are telling him how awesome he is. {I mean, he is pretty awesome:)}.

    1. oh friend, i also hope your youth pastor gets to read this. i’m so very sorry to hear of his brain tumor and am stopping to pray for him right now. love you.

    1. WPC was truly blessed with amazing youth leaders. Dane, followed by Brian and Dan truly shaped who I grew to be from 6th grade to now, and inspired my husband and I to work with youth since we have been out of college. YOU and the other high school girls were very influential on me as I was growing through middle school–bumbling my way through the awkwardness…you made me feel loved and welcome. So thank YOU for your heart!

      Your words are just as beautiful as you are!

      1. Oh B. Thanks for your kind words. Yes we were truly blessed by men and women with a passion for the gospel and heart for youth. So thankful for all of them.

I love to hear from you!