When Life Sucks

Jacob Eckeberger
September 2nd, 2016

We’re excited to have Kerry Loescher as one of our NYWC speakers. This blog post is a great start to the conversations she’ll be navigating in her seminar: When Life Sucks: Ministering to Kids in Life’s Darkest Moments. Check out more information HERE.

As a youth worker and a parent, I prefer the kind of “owies” that can be fixed with a band-aid.

You know, the kind where it’s possible to “kiss it and make it better” and you can actually “walk it off.” Unfortunately, we live in a world where Disney doesn’t write every scene and sometimes the good guys don’t win. What then? How is it right that bad things can happen to good people? How is it fair that some times good things happen to bad people? What then? How can we help? We offer what matters most…. The Church becomes the incarnational presence of Jesus Christ to kids and families in need.  We offer and give HOPE.

H = Help

Lifeguards at pools will tell you that drowning is often not a dramatic scene at all—there’s not a lot of yelling or splashing.  Usually, the lungs of a swimmer fill with water and they quietly sink to the bottom of the pool, unable to help themselves. The Church must learn to recognize the signs of a swimmer in distress. We must be a people who are willing to jump into the deep end of the pool when kids and families are having trouble swimming. We get involved and stay involved by offering tangible forms of help

O = Options

There is power in knowing that you have choices. You’re not stuck. We help kids and families see options they do not see themselves. Choices give them a sense of control and help them take responsibility for their own future.

P = Purpose

Having a picture of a preferred future is highly motivational. Why else would we sweat at the gym and avoid dessert? Often the only way to overcome sin and pain, and to break the cycle of sin and pain, is to become more invested in something better than the mess our life is in at the moment. When kids and parents give up on their purpose, hope is hard to find. We get to help reconnect them with that sense of divine purpose.

E = Encouragement

We ALL need cheerleaders in our lives. These are the people who remind us who we really are and WHOSE we really are. I’m not talking about compliments that are mostly superficial and not helpful. I’m talking about the kind of encouragement that stirs up our faith in God, in our selves, and in each other. We get to offer kids and students this kind of  “go juice” for their souls.

Most of the time, when we speak of “hope,” we usually mean, “wish.”

It’s the “I hope everything works out for you” kind of stuff. It’s what we wish for someone and then often have no clue how to even begin to help make things work out for them. However, when we look at the word “hope” from a biblical perspective, we’re talking about a “knowing assurance…a faith-filled trust in God’s goodness.” THAT kind of hope is an entirely different thing all together.  Join me at the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati this fall as we explore how to give true hope and practical help to kids and families experiencing life’s darkest moments.

kerry_smallKerry Loescher works as an instructor at Oral Roberts University teaching Youth Ministry, Outreach, and Leadership.  With more than 20+ years of profession youth work experience, Kerry’s passion is training leaders to help young people and their families connect the dots between Jesus and their everyday lives.  She and her husband Randy are the proud parents of 5 kids and a random plant that has somehow managed to survive.

Jacob Eckeberger

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.