Is Your Youth Ministry a Dry Wasteland?

Is Your Youth Ministry a Dry Wasteland?

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NLT

I read this verse yesterday and my mind was flooded with memories of when I felt this exact way. My youth ministry was a dry wasteland. God wasn’t there. No life. Nothing but frustration with the leadership, a lack of volunteers, no passion, nothing but bone dry sand and bitterness.

What a beautiful message is contained in this verse for youth workers lost in the throws of a dry lake bed of youth ministry. We’re not lost. We’re not wandering aimlessly in the desert! God is doing something new, and He has already begun. He is making a path. He is bringing rivers of life to what looks hopeless and empty.

Have you ever felt like this:

  • Empty soul in the middle of the year
  • Pressures from the senior pastor to do more
  • Alone in youth ministry
  • Frustrated with the lack of growth
  • Lack of direction or focus
  • Nothing but disappointment in your heart and all around you too

If you do—you’re in good company! Isaiah felt this way, and anyone who has done youth ministry for any length of time has felt this way as well. So rest easy that despite your surroundings and feelings that shouldn’t be trusted—God is at work! Jesus is calling your students to something greater. He is doing great things, bringing life and hope and love to the lost. If you’re in a dry wasteland of youth ministry as we start the new year—know that God is right there, with big plans for you and your youth group.

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Josh Griffin
Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at!

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