Today was a happy day and a sad day. Isn’t it wild how in one day you can experience both feelings?
This morning I called one of my college friends/students and asked what he was doing today. I needed to check out a beach for a planned 8th grade retreat. I had never been to San Mateo campground and wanted to see how far from the beach it was and what the campground actually looked like. The campground looked like a great place for a bunch of 8th graders. Turns out it is a long walk (hike?) to the beach.
We figured we were at the campground let’s take a walk to the beach. What made the hike awesome, despite the distance, was the time of conversation I had with Brett (my college friend/student). He is an amazing young man with ideas and dreams on what church should look like. We shared different ideas, asked questioned and just enjoyed each other’s company. When it is all said and done maybe that it was church should look like: sharing ideas, asking questions and enjoying each other’s company. Sometimes it is awesome doing youth ministry!
After my trip to the beach I went to the memorial service of a young lady. I did not know the girl personally but I had seen her around. She had a great smile that was infectious! A letter was read by a young boy that did not know her but sought her out at school just to see her smile. It seems that it always made him feel good, especially when he was down. Many of her friends were in my former youth group. They spoke glowingly from the platform of this beautiful young girl and her love for others and for Jesus. It made me sad to watch as students that belonged to my former youth group mourned the passing of this young lady. Even though I was there for them at the memorial service it felt like I had let them down. I wouldn’t be around to help them through this. Sometimes doing youth ministry can really suck!
I am thankful that I was able to leave one church to work at another on good terms. The students were sad to see me leave (and I was just as sad to leave) but are very welcoming when I am around. My home still gets TP'ed by my former students. Sometimes doing youth ministry is just weird!
Lord help me to be the best youth pastor I can be. Help me to see the good in all situations. Continue to use and grow me.