Notice that I capitalized "YOU'RE"? That, of course, is me referencing God. Don't let me miss what "You're" doing is a prayer I pray often because as we all know, in youth ministry, students will never really give you instant gratification that you are making an impact. But never fear! This prayer has given me new eyes to see past to the hearts of my students, and to see that I actually do have an impact by the grace of God.
I struggle a lot with feeling valued. And when someone does say they value me, I put up a wall and sometimes do not accept the nice things. One thing that let me know I was valued by my students is a situation that happened on Tuesday. Every Tuesday I go to the local middle school and visit my students. I was at the recess for 5th and 6th grade when one of my 6th grade students walked up to me and we had the casual, "What are we doing for youth group tonight?" kind of question.
He then asked me about the college I am going to in the fall and wondered how old you have to be to get in there. (He is only 12 and I guess he forgot it's a college). I then asked him the question, "What do you want to do with your life?" He basically said he wants to do what I do (be a youth pastor). I had an 8th grade student text me once after youth group and thank me for teaching on Hosea (being pursued by the relentless love of God) and that he really needed to hear that.
Its comments like these that partly help me succeed, because just like students need to be valued by us as leaders, so we must feel valued by them. So my encouragement to anyone else struggling with feeling like they aren't on the right track please take this away from this blog. You most likely are! If you weren't I don't think you would be in the position you're in. Look closely at the positives being said by your students, the fact they keep coming back to youth group, and even pray, "Don't let me miss what You're doing."
Blessing to all!