Is It Time to Let Go?
I recently resigned from my church a few months back which is a sad occasion as I’m sure many people can relate. Within that resignation I was offered the open opportunity to become a youth counselor or plug myself into a number of volunteer positions which I felt was pretty great because we did not end on bad terms. (I stepped down due to a rather lengthy hospital stay but that’s another story for another time.) It was the hardest decision I have had to make in a long time but I knew it was for the best.
I recently had a chance to speak during our youth group time and I opened up to them about a number of things post resignation about the many ways God was moving in my life and I told them that I care and love them and would always be there for them. I ended by informing them I was going to come back as a counselor. The youth were ecstatic and I thought I would feel even more over the moon about it but instead a question popped into my head: is it time to let it go?
I am a firm believer youth ministry might be one of the most draining positions at least in the church on a physical, spiritual, emotional, and sometimes even mental level. I even think is even more felt than what the senior pastor feels (I could be wrong!) because we not only connect with youth but we also connect with their families, other adult volunteers, the staff, the community, and even friends of the youth. It’s a truly special connection. I like to think of it as your first love. You never forget your first love. But at what point do you wake up one day and tell yourself to move on let go of that love?
As I pondered this question I thought about the times the disciples got to spend with Jesus, which had to be a much more overwhelming experience than youth ministry. I then think about Him dying on that cross and how much it hurt the disciples. Imagine them having to let go of the Son of God. How that felt. I then start to think about Him coming back and finally His ascension into heaven. I imagine it to be difficult to move on with life after all of this but Jesus left them with the Great Commission:
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20)
Moving on in youth ministry is so hard. I think stepping from one role to another is even harder. Eventually we do have to let go, but it is not the end. There are still disciples to reach and teach all over. I take comfort in knowing I still have work to do no matter how hard it is, no matter how much it may hurt, no matter how the storm rages on, the cold never bothered me anyway.
Mario Kee is from Tennessee and has been a part of youth ministry for 10 years serving in a variety of churches. Catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mario.kee.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.