Missing Both Ends: Adolescence Changes Youth Ministry

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"Tension" is probably a good word to use for the adolescent stage of life. Typically the parent tries to keep his child in childhood, while the child pushes toward adulthood. Although approached with immaturity, adolescents want to think and act in ways that are adult-like. On this side of parenthood, I understand both sides. However, it's one thing to find the balance as a parent or fight for it as a child, but how do we address this as youth workers?

Most full-time, and especially part-time, youth workers could easily be considered overworked, undervalued, and therefore underpaid. But we love students. Student ministry is our life. It's both what we do and who we are. Most of us will do whatever it takes to reach students; we don't do it for affirmation from other people and would do it for free anyway. So with that heart, I'll introduce a thought that might surprise you coming from a fellow youth worker: we need to expand our job descriptions.

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