I first met Poky when I was helping out at the Tábor English camp in 2003. He was 19 and starting out as the leader of his youth group. As he doubted this calling we talked about him either stepping down as the leader and finding a replacement or stepping up and learning how to lead. I was so proud of him when he chose the later. Since then Poky has become one of the most equipped and prepared youth leaders in Czech. He’s been through every training we offer, walked through the desert of failure and rejection, and emerged as a humble man with the tools to shepherd youth to Christ.
When I moved to Tábor 3-½ years ago Poky had just been asked to step down as youth pastor because his leadership was frustrating a lot of people. He humbly stepped down, allowed the pastor to take over leadership of the youth group and continued to serve on the youth group team. It’s funny that Poky’s last name “Pokorný” is the Czech word for “humble.” Even when the church asked me to take over leadership of the youth group Poky continued to serve faithfully and humbly. Poky and I met regularly every other week and talked through things. Last summer I told the church that I wanted Poky to become the leader of the youth group again. I felt that he was ready, more mature, and well equipped for the task. The church agreed and I handed over the reigns after our summer English camp finished.
I’m now getting ready to move away from Tábor. This summer will be my first time not being at the Tábor English camp in 9 years. I’ve left the youth group in good hands, but I will miss working with my friend and co-laborer.