I’ve thought about writing this for a while, but it’s not particularly fun to write about some of my lowest moments as a youth leader. There have been times when youth have given up on our church and our youth group, and I’ve chosen, sometimes consciously and often subconsciously, to give up on them. It’s just so wrong, and along with a prayer of forgiveness, I pray that I learn from these mistakes.
If you’ve been in youth ministry for even a short time, you’ve had some students who were either forced to attend youth group against their will by their parents or chose to attend in order to draw attention by being disruptive. It’s tempting to be pleased or relieved when these students don’t show up. It’s far easier to throw your energy towards those to eagerly receive your input and efforts. But what opportunity are we missing to touch some hearts that very much need to be touched.
I’ll admit that the more passionate I become about ministry, the less patience I seem to show in situations like this. If you look at your own ministry and your own heart, I’m not asking you to beat yourself up over situations like this…but how do we learn from our failures and improve ourselves and more importantly improve our ability to reach those that are so difficult to reach?
I would love input from others about this. What do you do to set your heart right when it comes to the youth that have given up on youth ministry or given up on you?