I’m Still Here

It’s 2016.


But I started on this journey in 1994.


How many people can say that they set out to join a profession at 17 that they are still in at 39? Not just ministry-types… adults, in general?

Not that many.

Looking back at it now I see three waypoints that have me right where I am now, right where I started out as a high school kid.

Distractions & Temptations

I don’t want this to sound pompous. But I’ve tried out enough different things to know I could have been good at a lot of things. All along the way there have been distractions and temptations drawing me away from ministering to teenagers. I can think of 8-9 different career directions I could have continued with had I wanted to. Everything from executive leadership to tech start-ups to leading a church.

But here I am. Sometimes distracted. Sometimes tempted. But still here pecking away at it.


I’ve had a few straight-up haters. The brave ones said things to my face. In a twisted way I can respect that, someone with the balls to say something face-to-face. But most haters are cowards, whispering in the shadows to others that I wasn’t suited for ministry or that I’d never graduate or that sooner or later I’d be just like so-and-so.

The funny thing about haters? They seek to destroy you but they give you fuel.

A lot of people lie and say they don’t hear the haters. Don’t kid yourself. You always hear them. Those whispers often mimic the voices in my head, giving a face to my own doubts.

And for some people? Haters do damage. But for people like me? That’s all the motivation we need.

Quick reminder to the haters: I’m still here. Where are you? Probably right where I left you.


I’m here today, largely, because I’ve had great mentors along the way. I’ve always had ambitions, talents, and some other intangibles. But I wouldn’t still be here if I hadn’t had great women and men to look up to and show me the way.

Call it luck. Call it good fortune. Frankly, I don’t know what to call it. But I’m thankful for the people who invested (and are still investing) in me along the way.

From Here to There

And that brings me to where I’m at right now. I’m here and I’m still trying to get there. I’m still just as easily distracted as ever. I’m just as susceptible to the voices of haters as ever. I’m just as open to learning and being mentored as ever.

But I’m also at the point where a big thing I’m looking for from the next 22 years of youth ministry is continuing the cycle.

Just like lots of people have invested lots of themselves in me I’m getting more and more serious about returning the favor.






3 responses to “I’m Still Here”

  1. Mike Pitts Avatar

    Bro, I needed this so much today! Thanks for sharing

  2. Chad Schuchmann Avatar

    So much yes! I turn 39 this year also. Started volunteering with Middle School in my home church during Junior year of High School and somehow I’m still at it. Thanks for putting into words how I often feel.

  3. Carl Fuglein Avatar
    Carl Fuglein

    Adam – A wise man once told me that there are two things in life that are extremely important. One is finding a job that you can do, and do well enough to make a good living. Te second is finding a passion. Something that just fits you and you love to do and are good at it. And if one thing fulfills both those important things, you are truly blessed.

    Adam, you are truly blessed, and it’s been a pleasure calling you friend.

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