Anyhow, I am going to tell you what every other youth pastor who has a blog is writing about who watched Gladiators last Monday night, youth pastors rock! Let me explain.
The two contestants last week were a guy who had a rough upbringing but turned his life around and is now teaching Algebra in the very school he was kicked out of, and a man nicknamed the Hebrew Hammer who is a Hurricane survivor who now is a shark fisherman. Unfortunately the Hebrew Hammer got injured on the very first game when he got tackled hard and broke his leg. His injury replacement was none other than Andy Konigsmark... a youth pastor.This dude was ripped and guess what else... he was good... he finished with the fastest time in the eliminator of any other guy and he had fun the whole way through. I have spoken with this guy through email since last Monday and he seems to be a really cool guy. He has been a model in the past and was a youth pastor and is still in school to finish his ministry degree, but he moved to California to be stand-up comedian on the side.
When he was first introduced as a youth pastor I had mixed emotions, my first emotion was excitement that there was a youth pastor as cool as I am. The second emotion was fear, because I was afraid he was going to embarrass himself. You see, Gladiators pick contestant that fit into some sort of stereotypical niche. They have had the NYC firefighter, the soldier, the surfer, the rodeo girl, the fitness model, etc. and I was afraid that when they said "Gladiators ready?" that he would answer with a big "Hallelujah!" and set us Christians back a few years in the relevancy department. But what I liked about Andy was that he showed the world that Christians are allowed to have fun, Christians don't have to be a bunch of stiffs, and Christians can whoop your butt on the eliminator.
I am reminded of the scripture in Nehemiah that says "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." And this is what Andy showed America. So let this be a lesson to you that we can worship God with all that we are and still have fun doing it. We don't have to retreat from the world and lock ourselves in closets but we can be in the world and not of it, and others will benefit from it.
Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.
PS If you want to leave Andy a message or check out his stand up you can go to http://www.myspace.com/Andykonigsmark.