Today marks the start of my 8th year in youth ministry, and the start of my 2nd year at Faith. What a journey it has been!
Last year, when I began my ministry at Faith, I was cocky and pretty sure of myself and my approach to youth ministry. So sure, in fact, that despite telling myself that I would “start slow”, I really didn’t. Granted, I didn’t go as fast as I could have, but I also never really stopped to contextualize my philosophy of ministry to this particular setting.
As a result, the last year has been a rocky road.
Yet, today as I gear up for the start of another programming year, I find myself cautiously optimistic about the year ahead and about my relationships with these kids, which I think have been strengthened by the battles we’ve already weathered together.
Our “core” program, FLY Nights, will look very different this year than last, and very different from my youth ministry at my previous church, from what I imagined my ministry would be here, and even from what my ideal “vision” for ministry is.
Perhaps, though, that’s not a bad thing.
What I’ve discovered in this process is that my definition of ministry is much bigger than it was a year ago, and I’ve found that the God I worship is also much bigger than I imagined him to be a year ago.
Because of that, as I prepare for our 1st FLY Night of the year, I’m finding that I’m daring to hope and dream about ministry again.
In the words of Paul, “We also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)