Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Youth Ministry is random
Today I folded towels. Yesterday, I washed dishes. Yep, youth ministry is very random. I recently had this conversation with my husband's cousin Kevin about serving in ministry. It's so very hard. Something I never would have guessed in college. Fresh out the gates with my diploma in hand I was ready to evangelize and pumped up about leading teens to Christ.
Reality sets in. Paper work to fill out. Kids to seek out. And continue to seek. And seek some more. Pizza parties, guitar hero nights, youth Mass with lively worship music, movies...it sounds like a walk in the park, right? Indeed this work is not as easy at it would sound. And I am in the thick of it all, raising 3 small kids, trying to start youth groups literally from the ground up, and seeing what the devil wants me to perceive as "failure."
The summer months tend to be my time to "wind down and regroup" for the coming year and no doubt this year has been full of grace and growth for me as well as the youth. This is when conciously take extra time to reflect and pray about the closing year as well as the future.
Last night I had the awesome opportunity to have a good friend of our's over for dinner who's studying for the priesthood in Rome. He spoke some unbelieveable words that reminded me that not being able to see the outcome in ministry work allows you to become more virtuous as a person. He's so right. And that's another random thing about this job. You may never see the finished product and that's sooo hard!
If you're reading this and you're just getting started in ministry, don't be frightened! The blessings of this "job" far outweigh the low moments. And they come in abundace. They come when you need them the most to pick you up and give you the strength to continue on. They come just as Jesus calmed the storm. When in your heart you are freaking out because you have no idea what to do. Your faith has been shaken and well, your trust in God tested. When you get to be apart of even just one teen's experience of Christ that awakens their heart and they find true conversion that is more worth it than 20 angry parents (PS I never had 20 parents upset at me, but have had a few over the years...and they really weren't made at ME persay!).
The most random thing about youth ministry is how much it has taught me about humilty. It's not about me at all. It's all about Jesus!
"Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall see God." [Catechism of the Catholif Church 2547]