No One Shares My Reality (Or Yours)

I do a lot of reading and frankly, I’m tired of reading ministry articles and books full of ministry ideas. They are meant to help me do ministry better but generally they leave me feeling like I can never do it right. I always have the question, “Wow, this is great stuff but how do I apply it to my reality?” It is always then that I realize that no one shares my reality. All I have is trusting God as my guide and hopefully gleaning some good and usable ideas from my reading. This usually happens after my attitude subsides.  (I do realize that we do this in this article but it is different. We are right.)

So since I am in this mood, I’m going to rant a bit. But it is my hope that these rants will encourage you as you spend day in and day out in your reality.

Why are so many youth ministry articles written by people who used to work with youth?

What a privilege you have of walking through with your youth so many rites of passages--confirmation, high school, driver’s license, prom and graduation.

Isn’t it reassuring to know that the youth will remember you and your relationship with them more than any of the messages you preached?

Don’t you hate it when you spend $15 on a youth ministry resource book and you find only one idea that works with your group?

Aren’t those times when an idea doesn’t work during a youth meeting drag on f--o--r--e--v--r?

Don’t you feel ripped that most people look forward to summer for some relaxation but your schedule gets crazier?

Do you cringe when a stranger asks you to describe what you do for a living because no one truly understands what you do?

Isn’t one of the best rewards ever is seeing that look of pure joy on a teen’s face during a senseless but purposeful water balloon game? For that moment they have no guilt and/or no pressure. The only reward greater than that is watching that same youth come to an understanding about his/her faith walk?

I have an idea. Since youth workers bust their butts all year (some for little or no money), to help them let’s start a series of conferences and charge the youth leaders $700 to attend. Wouldn’t that be a nice break from reality?

Wouldn’t you love to attend a youth worker’s conference with someone who is an actual “normal” youth pastor who talks about current stuff instead of their successes of the past? Wouldn’t you want to know the stuff that happened during the prior month and how they dealt with every little thing?

Even if there was a conference like that, there would still be no advice for you on how to deal with that one kid or that one group. It always comes down to you and trusting God to lead you through those situations.

Aren’t you tired of reading all those postmodernity articles when you can’t even understand how to work with that one kid?

Don’t you wish you could take back every wall of separation you put up between the parents and your youth ministry?

Don’t you wish you could take back every wall of separation you put up between the congregation and your youth ministry?

Aren’t you reassured to know that if God can use Balaam’s donkey, He can use you?

Have you ever noticed that it’s tough to compete against sex, drugs, and rock and roll? I have an idea, let’s play “four on the couch.” That should do it!

Write down one memory that keeps you in the youth ministry game

If we’re supposed to be setting an example of Christ-like living, why do we push shirt designs and logos that are blatantly stolen from corporate America? Maybe if we spent as much time on our own creativity as we do stealing some else’s idea, we as Christians, might actually start a trend or two.

Has anyone ever found that one method that really will get teenagers into reading God’s word daily?

Sometimes do you daydream that what you are doing in youth ministry should be the next PDYM until you realize what you are doing would only work with this group at this time and that you are in God’s perfect will for this time and group?

Aren’t you reassured to know that there is always the hope of prayer?

Don’t you hate youth ministry resource companies that try to make us look immature?

Don’t you wish you had more time to spend at a high school and do something that really helps the school like coach, help in the hallways or lunchroom or drive a bus?

For quite a while we have had a Christian equivalent sounding band for every secular band. Have you noticed lately how many secular bands are ripping off a Christian artist? Particularly DCTalk with their rap/rock version.

Can we please have more bands like P.O.D.?

Which is more valuable to the youth of today, Christian band that is “obviously” Christian, or a Christian band that reaches millions of nonsaved youth because their message is a little farther below the surface?

If I hear “Pharaoh, Pharaoh” one more time...