Every now and then you have a day in student ministry when you know you just had a powerful positive effect on a student’s life. Those are the days that make what we do so rewarding. These are also the days we should remember when we have a day were you feel you’re just beating your head against the wall.
One of the things I need to remind myself is that what we do in student ministry, whether you’re a paid staff member at a church or a volunteer, is all on God’s timing. He knows just the right time for a student to really hear what you’re saying and for it to sink in. God knows when they are ready to hear and act on the advice or the lesson we’re teaching. Sometimes God’s timing and mine are on different schedules. I have to remind myself that his time table is the one that matters not mine.
I often judge how good my student small group was by a couple of things. First, how much discussion was there? I don’t want to be the one doing all of the talking. If you’re doing more than about 25% of the talking you’re preaching not teaching. Second, I judge how the night went based by the number of text messages I get from my group after the group is over. Last night I must have gotten them all thinking about some things because my cell phone lit up with text messages from my guys for about an hour. And while I love that they confide in me, I want them to bring it up to the small group too. I reinforce that they have a group of brothers that are there to help them, and probably most of them have the same struggles so your input will help others too.
I’m going to end this post by stealing a Twitter post from Steven today:
Youth ministry is often messy, sometimes heartbreaking, usually crazy, generally joyful, seldom easy, never boring, always fulfilling.