Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Teen Ministry

7 or 8 years ago, I can't say I'd ever imagine myself saying this, but I love teenagers. I love that if they have a hard shell exterior that you can break it down with nothing but a little time, truth, and respect. If I'm having a bad day, I've almost always forgotten what a rotten mood I'm in after hanging out with the teens from the ministry that God has allowed us to lead. It's amazing and wonderful.

We're reaching our second year marker, (and hoperfully going strong for more) in just a few weeks. As I'm sure a lot of you know, 2 years is a really long time for a ministry to have a youth pastor. Typical turnover in this vocation is around a year and a half, max. It's not easy. In adult ministry, you have people, their faults, and their baggage. In children's ministry, or youth ministry, you have teens, or children and their issues, and their parents and their baggage and hangups too. You've got to walk that fine line between discipleship and making sure you and the parents are on that same page. If your not, it gets slippery, and frustrating. We're pretty darn lucky that we haven't had to tackle that situation much. We do tend to take it hard when it does happen though. We take it personally, when maybe we shouldn't, and we question the big picture when maybe it's a small blip on the radar. It's hard. (Did I mention that?)

The funny thing is, the easiest part about youth ministry is the teens themselves. I guess that's a positive affirmation for what we feel we've been called to do. When God works through you, you tend to know it. In a big way. Knowing that you won't always see the fruits of what you do, makes it easier when you don't. I just wish everything else was that simple.

Earnestly craving your prayers,


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