If I'm honest I have to admit that I'm frustrated. There are a handful of amazing youth workers that show up to volunteer first service on Sunday morning. I realize that support and consistency are huge emotional needs for me, but what frustrates me goes beyond my emotional health. I could rant about being true to one's word, keeping commitments, and duty. Relax, I don't think that will help. I realize that much of my frustration comes from the fact that I'm asking people to serve 12-14 year olds at 8 AM on a Sunday morning. The rest of it comes from an inability I've had as a leader to cast a vision that helps people see the importance of what happens from 8:30 AM -10:00 AM each week.
I want to be clear that I'm not mad at any specific person. I don't think there are bad guys or gals in this situation. I also do not think that a church service is an 'end all' 'be all' to a young teenager's spiritual formation.
I have however, accepted the responsibility and the task of making sure that young teens are loved, guided to God's presence, and personally engaged every week, regardless of the time.
Here's a few reasons why I show up on Sunday.
- Someone did it for me.
- On some level, young people expect to meet with God at church. It's an honor to be a concrete representative of Christ when someone is looking for Him!
- It's fun.
- It makes a difference. The longer I'm involved in relational youth ministry, the more effective I've been with teens, parents, and their families. Trust takes time, and after 5 years I'm seeing more "results" than ever.
- The "week to week" matters. With tons of change at school, community, and family, young people benefit greatly from knowing that there is some consistency in their lives.
Ok, I feel a bit better now. I keep thinking if people really knew what goes on in our services, it would be difficult to STOP them from helping these teens. Maybe I'm crazy.