This note is a long time in coming to you, our youth worker. Perhaps over recent weeks, and in light of recent events you have asked yourself “Is it really worth it?” You need to know that yes, it is worth it. You need to know that you – personally – matter to this church.
God has gifted you with tremendous amounts of passion and enthusiasm for one particular corner of the harvest field, one few dare to enter and even fewer attempt to understand. We remember our journey through that particular corner called Youth; and to look back at it now makes us shake our heads in wonder that we survived adolescence. When a person like you comes along and willingly wants to journey back towards that corner . . . well, we are not always sure how to respond.
Sometimes we respond badly. The words we choose to express our wonder and admiration don't come out sounding that way. We sound critical when we are trying to understand how a person does what you do. Your passion and sense of being called to this particular ministry is so evident in those moments. You withstand us questioning your sanity, poking fun at the events you host – and you take it all in stride. You show greater maturity than we in those times. I am sorry they occur, but proud to see you handle them so graciously.
Your scheduling abilities are amazing. You can juggle the multiple school calendars, myriad sports events, musical recitals, plays and other obligations in the lives of our church family and still find a way to plan, organize and successfully execute trips, retreats, outings and service projects – all without making the young people feel that they have ‘one more thing’ on their plate. They are actually excited to be involved.
Your leadership skills are evident. While most of us are not sure how to even approach teens, you can relate to them and speak to them in ways they understand without talking down to them. They are learning great lessons about life and living; and you are having a tremendous impact in their lives.
Your skills as a team player are greatly appreciated. It is not easy to present a united front when your heart and mind are clearly in another direction. But even in those times – especially in those times – you model the proper response to authority and the overarching principle of unity. It is good that we do not always agree; and it is great when you challenge my thinking, too. Your ambition to lead and humble willingness to follow encourages me to shepherd the entire flock better. It is an extreme pleasure to count you as a colleague and partner in this ministry we have in our community.
You matter to this church! Thank you for allowing God to lead you here.