An Assault on Our Egos

Youth Specialties
August 23rd, 2016

We’re excited to have Walt Mueller as one of our NYWC speakers. This blog post is a great start to the conversations he’ll be navigating in his seminar: 5 Youth Culture Megatrends Every Youth Worker Must Recognize. Check out more information HERE

Eugene Peterson tweeted this a year or so ago. . .

“You are at your pastoral best when you are not noticed.”

Wow! A direct assault on our egos and our culture of Christian celebrity.


Peterson’s words got me thinking about something I was imagining a couple of days ago.

It’s part of my continued reflections on cultural change, narcissism, selfishness, and our obsession to “out-selfie” others and even our own selves. Here’s what I was thinking. . . what would our world, our homes, our neighborhoods, and our offices, etc. sound like if every time we posted a selfie, a boastful post about our children, or textual posts that are meant to do nothing but get people to notice us and our accomplishments, we were to stand and scream at the top of our lungs, “SEE ME!!!!” Because, that’s what we’re doing, aren’t we? 

What an incredibly noisy world it is.

I think Peterson’s little tweet extends far beyond youth workers and people in ministry. Replace the word “pastoral” with the word “personal” in his tweet. I think there’s something powerful there. It’s biblical too. . . which means that maybe we pour ourselves into things that put a smile on the face of the one who wants to see us rebel against God.

We are called to humility, not pride.

We are called to selflessness rather than selfishness.

We are called to decrease so that Christ may increase.

If your default setting is horribly miscalibrated like mine, then “SEE ME!!!!” is always on the tip of your tongue. . . and then far too often beyond. But if we want to flourish and be our best. . . well. . . keep quiet and carry on.

Dr. Walt Mueller has been working with young people and families for more than 35 years. He’s the founder and president of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding, a non-profit organization that serves schools, churches, and community organizations worldwide. He writes on youth culture and family issues and is a regular contributor to a variety of magazines and journals, a blogger, and an author of nine books. Walt and his wife, Lisa, have four grown children and brand-new twin grandchildren.

Youth Specialties

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