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Youth Ministry

I just need to voice my frustrations. I feel like I have a backward ministry.  See, most people who I minister to, come into my ministry better off then when they leave.  I see them before they have started drinking, and having sex, and cursing, and sneeking around behind their parents back.  Then they spend 3-7 years under my influence and leave having done all those things.  While I’m not saying it’s my fault, the reality is that I can’t see the fruits of my labor.  I just want God to throw me a bone once in a while. 

It’s not that I don’t think it’s a valuable minitry. It’s just that you can’t measure prevention.  You work in a drug rehab and you can measure your success.  100 people came in with an addiction.  75 have sobered up and are clean one year later.   Results.  Teachers can say that there kids came in not knowing algebra, or how to read, or whatever, and after one year have learned that skill. Doctors cure people, etc.  But how do you measure how many things a kid didn’t do that they would have done if it wasn’t for your work. And the things that we are trying to increase, like love, and service and compassion, are hard to measure.

10 years of ministry and I have seen more heart aches then victories, and more brokeness then healing.  I know we live in a broken world, but some days it’s harder to see the hope. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, don’t get me wrong.  Who else gets to watch chick flicks, drink tea and eat chocolate all in the name of ministry. Who else gets to be the first to hear the good news that someone got asked to the prom.  Or share God’s mercy on someone in tears.  I will take this ministry even if I never get that bone.  I suppose that’s why I was given this.  But a  bone would be nice.

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3 thoughts on “Youth Ministry

  1. Be encouraged, Barb!  I don’t understand the details of what you are going through; but I know that God is faithful and His Words never come back void in someone’s life.  I know people (my dh and my db to name 2, even myself) who have spent years in Youth Groups and churches only to do everything that God says not to do; then, years later, God does incredible things and brings complete healing and restoration.  It doesn’t happen with everyone; but i’m sure it happens more than church leaders realize.  And you don’t always see the fruits in the here and now… sometimes it’s years later, after they have already moved out of your church and gone on with their lives.  It’s hard to completely forget what God says… we can push it out of our minds for so long; but if God wants to do something in someone’s life, He will send the Word repeatedly over time.  You are just one part of that process, a vital part of His process. God’s Word is alive and active and sharper than a two-edged sword.  It’s hard to ignore it forever.  So, keep up the good work!  God is using you, I am sure!  As you said, you are right where you are for His reasons!  May you get those bones that you are asking to see!  But if not, keep the faith that God is using you and this ministry is working in the lives of those you reach out to… b/c it is His ministry and b/c of that it must prosper!Blessings to you, Lady!
    Erica

  2. Melissa says:

    Barb, I can tell you from experience that everything you have shared with the kids in your youthgroup is helping them.  You may not see the fruits of your labor now, but somewhere down the road a light will go off in their heads, and their hearts will be touched.  I was never a kid in your youthgroup, but you did that to me through your friendship.  I left youthgroup to do all of those things that you mentioned, and even some that you didn’t, but I am okay now because God never gave up on me, and he used you as an instrument in bringing me back to him.  I actually have shared your role in my testimony many times over the past few months, so consider yourself boned (I know, I know, I just couldn’t resist!)  I love you, someday you will be rewarded for all that you have done in the lives of others, big and small. 

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