In Youth Ministry Sherpas

If you follow enough youth workers on social media, you’ll see some incredible youth ministry taking place right now. Everyone seems to be “killing it” on InstaZoomFaceTube. With all the talent and creativity that’s risen to the surface in the past month, it’s a wonder we didn’t have a thousand youth group versions of the Tonight Show on every cable network for the past five years.
That is, unless you are a 50+ youth pastor who spends four hours on Sunday afternoon trying to figure out how to get a Youtube video to stream on your Zoom account. I never did get that stupid thing to work.
Seriously, while we admire the creativity, ingenuity, and generosity that the pandemic has spawned in youth ministry world, we wonder if perhaps we haven’t dealt with our true emotions. Are we covering up how many of us truly feel? Have we faced our sense of failure? Have we dealt with our grief and loss? Have we admitted that we’ve spent a few late nights wondering if we were making any difference at all before this happened, let alone now?
Failure. Grief. Sadness. These are real things that need to be talked about. Our role as youth pastors is to lead the way in these conversations. We have plenty of our own examples to share. Maybe our honesty will help you feel like you are not alone. Maybe we can help our students know they are not alone, too.
Don’t worry-it’s not all black clouds and thunderstorms. There are silver linings to this season. We are grateful for what we are learning. We are grateful for friends, family, and time at home.
We are also grateful that we DYM hasn’t kicked us out of the network yet! We can’t believe we get to be part of this thing!

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