life in youth ministry

Mason & I have realized that we’ve both been horrible about keeping the blog updated over the past few months. Let’s just say that life has been a little bit more than hectic, and we’re finally seeing the peek of light at the end of a short tunnel. I say short because before we know it, summer will be here and that means lots of trips and other events that happen when you’re in youth ministry.

As you know, we’re at two different churches in two different states. Wow, are we crazy or what? Let’s just say that it’s taken a lot of adjustment for us and we’re still trying to fine-comb through a lot of details, sometimes even daily. It was so much easier when we worked together at the same church, but at the same time, I wasn’t as happy by having to work full-time outside of ministry while Mason was working full-time in ministry. While it’s taken a lot of getting used to, we both think that we like the new “normal” for us, especially now that our Saturdays are free of classes…forever!

Life in youth ministry is challenging, but oh so rewarding. Anyone whose ever worked in youth ministry will agree. It’s a lot of listening, planning, communicating, and building trust – and that’s just to the parents! Then there’s the relationship building, lesson planning, endless meetings, committee after committee, Session meetings, coffee meetings, retreat planning, bank accounting, calendar juggling  and so much more. Oh, and then there are the plays, soccer games, swim meets, dance recitals, ice skating competitions…

While it seems like a lot, its great fun. I mean, what other job has continuing education that includes weeks at a time at Montreat for conferences like The Blaze and the Annual Recreation Workshop? And what other job PAYS you to go on mission trips, youth retreats, college retreats, lead small groups for retreats, spend the day at theme parks, and occasionally attend a concert or four per year??

Continuing education also includes reading books like: The Hunger Games, The Church of Facebook, Twilight & Philosophy, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Almost Christian, Godly Play, Praying the Movies, Horton Hears a Who! and more. We also get to watch TV as part of our job, including shows like: Glee, Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, Parenthood, etc. AND, we get to go to the movies as part of our job, too. It’s a fun world, and someone’s got to do it.

It’s also a world of ministering to families as they go through trials, helping to mend hurts, counseling non-stop, encouraging and supporting through decisions and life changes. It’s a world of navigating communication minefields and helping parents keep up with their teens, and helping their teens realize that their parents really aren’t aliens, but really do want to love them and understand them. It’s a world of helping to shape theologies that are able to be lived out in the world and understood and trusted when the world throws you curve balls. It’s a world of constantly re-evaluating yourself and being willing to constantly learn, study, play, pray, teach and most importantly, listen. And it’s a world of wonder, too.

Life has been a series of challenges for us lately as we’ve moved to a new city, worked at two different churches, worked in two different states, and worked in ministry apart from each other. But it’s been a series of changes that have been really good for us, too. Life is good, and we certainly feel very blessed to both be able to work in the ministries to which God has called us – be it together or apart.

 

 

Thanks for your prayers and support of us as we’ve moved on to follow God’s call…even when we’ve been crummy about updating y’all as to what we’re up to regularly. Know that we are making a vow to be more involved at updating and checking in on each of y’all, too.

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