I'm an only child. I have no children. And let me be perfectly honest here, I HATED jr & sr high school. Even when I was a Youth, I never felt that I understood the Youth.
So, perhaps it's not surprising that I have not been drawn to Youth ministry since I joined the church (c. 1997). Adult ministry has been more my game.
Now, when I accepted my church staff position in Lifespan Ministries, I realized that I would be working with the Youth. After all, Youth is a period in the lifespan. What I didn't realize is that their previous Youth group had ceased to exist over the summer, and that I would have to rebuild one from scratch.
Thankfully, I worked some with Youth at my internship the summer before last. I was able to work out some of my stage fright, and I was actually pretty successful. (Meaning that despite my expectations, 6th graders kept returning to my Sunday School class and Youth returned and even increased night after night for Vaction Bible School.) But that didn't make me any kind of expert. I was working within an existing successful Youth program.
I guess the point of all this is to say since I started here about a month and a half ago, I have been working almost exclusively with the Youth and Youth projects. I have been in a state of constant prayer, research, and study. It's been rough going some of the time, but things are headed in the right direction.
I still feel like I have no clue about how well I'm relating to the Youth, but something happened Saturday night that gives me some hope.
I received a text from one of my Youth girls confirming Sunday's event. A little while later her mom sent me a message that it was her daughter's very first text.
Is it weird that I started to tear up a little bit? I figure these days, a first text is a very important moment in a young girl's life, and she sent it to me. Maybe I can do this. I needed the encouragement. Thank you God!