A friend commented yesterday that they weren’t sure that any of their youth group would be a dedicated Christian before they left for college. He was truly frustrated with their umm … lack of getting it. Another friend asked if he had told them that, thinking that might be a good motivational technique.
My response was “you are right where you ought to be.” Really? Yep, at least 50% of the time over the 18 years I’ve been in ministry I have wondered something similar.”
It still kills me that an outstanding major league player only gets a hit 1 out of every 3 at bats. Have you ever wondered how low a hit percentage baseball players would have if you counted every swing and foul ball. Sometimes the pitcher throws 20+ pitches and only 4 of those can be balls. An average baseball player has 4 pitches per plate appearance and bats .250. Which means their hit per pitch percentage is only .063.
Discipling teenagers can feel just as hard!
Why is it so hard to know if we are making a difference? Because we don’t get to decide nor do we have anyone assigning us making a difference grades. Only God knows what is truly going on in a young person’s heart. The seeds that God sows through us often don’t grow and some grow after high school. We are blessed when we get to see them grow and take root in kids lives. I use those moments as inspiration to keep trying. I love it when this happens because it is what keeps me swinging for the fences.
How do you keep going when your efforts feel futile?
Feeling frustrated yourself. Keep swinging, you can’t get a hit if you don’t swing.
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.