It’s weird for me to think that a year ago Saturday I graduated from college. The past year has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, it’s also been a year full of transformation and growth.
I graduated thinking that youth ministry was going to be a piece of cake. I had read a lot of books on youth ministry and I had spent 3 1/2 years volunteering in a healthy youth ministry and being mentored by a great minister. I thought for sure I was set up for an easy and successful start.
But once I got “into the trenches” I learned very quickly youth ministry cannot be boiled down to a science. Each group is different with their own needs, past, and baggage. Each student is different and has a story that has shaped them into who they are and impacts where they’re going.
I thought I would have youth ministry figured out after four years in preparation, but I’m learning it’s not as easy as people think, especially in a small church. It’s a lot easier to get frustrated than I ever imagined and it’s a lot easier to get discouraged than anyone ever told me.
I don’t want to come across as a debby downer, youth ministry is also a lot more rewarding than I ever imagined. The relationships you build and the conversations you have with students far outweigh the difficulties and discouragements.
A year into ministry and I’m finally starting to recognize that this is a marathon, not a sprint. I have to remind myself that I haven’t arrived and don’t have everything figured out. It’s easy to buy into the lie that we can have everything figured out if all we do is read enough books or spend enough time filling water balloons.
That being said I want to hear from you. What are some tips you would have for a young youth minister? What are some lessons you wish you had learned sooner?