I often times struggle with a balancing act in youth ministry.
On the one hand, I’m a firm believer that discipleship is not an overnight process. Discipleship takes time, and as a youth pastor, it can sometimes feel like I’m not even seeing the process take place.
But on the. Other hand, I think we far too often take tomorrow for granted. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and just because Harold Camping was wrong about the end of the world, that doesn’t mean that Christ couldn’t still have come May 22nd. ( and no, I’m not a camping supporter.)
So I sometimes struggle with this. I greatly enjoy summer because of how low key our youth ministry is in the summer. The last few weeks ( as I wrote that, I realized it’s only been a week that summer started for our students, geeze it seems like longer.) So the last few days, I guess, I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to just sit back and take a look at the youth ministry.
On the one hand, I am saddened because we experienced a great time of growth, but some of the kids have fallen away. We are still a very young group, and I know that it is somewhat to be expected that many 8th grade boys choose activities based off girls, and we have seen a lot of that this year. But it also shows me that in the coming months I need to be much more intentional with reaching this group. I hope we can get these few students back and re-plugged in, but we need to create a place for them to get plugged into.
On the other hand, I am very excited because of our core group’s growth. We started a bible study/small group for a core group of students last fall, and these were primarily the students we knew made up our student leadership team. Where as last summer when I tried to launch thief student leadership team, they weren’t ready, this year these students are right where I would hope they would be, and the future with them looks awesome.
I knew going into this past school year we wouldn’t be able to get to where I hoped without student leaders in place, but they weren’t ready. This fall they will be.
Which comes back to my initial struggle of balancing the rush vs. The slow and steady. We missed some opportunities this past year because we were going for a more slow and steady approach. But I also know the students who have been the most shaped this last year would not be where they are today if we had been in a rushed mindset. We may have had a few more conversions and students still sticking around, but they would be shallow.
So I have a few months to try and balance the two into the school year ministry.
And I apologize, because this post offers nothing for those reading it, it’s much more of me just typing to myself. But thanks for reading anyways!