So what I'm about to share with you is something I don't like to admit. I know we all go through it at times, if we admit it or not, but we know it happens and we know we at least think it. When I first started writing for DYM I told myself I wold be open, honest and transparent in hopes it could help another youth worker who might be going through the same thing. In all honesty, I don't write for anyone. I write because it helps me process out what's in my head and if it helps other people, awesome... I love it.
But I had a pity party last night. You know what I'm talking about. It's the thoughts of, "Wow, I'm working my butt off and this is how many kids showed up?" Or, "God, I'm being faithful, trying to keep going and keep a positive attitude but this is what I get? How am I supposed to build something, build a program, build small groups, build a camp culture...". I was at an event and thoughts came rushing to my head and it wouldn't stop.
Ever had some of those thoughts? I'm sure you have. As we were in the middle of the event 3 points came to my mind, which I'm sure it was God speaking to me, challenging me, to get out of this mindset I was in. I thought I would share them with you:
The kids there are the ones who are supposed to be there: Yes, not as many students as I had planned showed up, but some students who I thought would never show up to anything (you know which ones I'm talking about, "those kids", the "why are you even here, you don't pay attention" kids) showed up. I got to have some amazing conversations with them and get to know a little of their back story. If more students showed up, I know it would be crazier and I would have not have gotten the time I did with them and we began to develop a deeper relationship (They are now on my dodge ball team for the tournament we are having Wednesday).
Be faithful with what I give you: I know we hear this a lot, but do you really believe it? I have been reading through Joshua and man, there is a ton of great leadership stuff in their. One of the things I wrote down that very morning of the event was, "Joshua was faithful in all the little things God told him to so it came to the major moves, he was ready." I felt like this was God saying to me, "Do you not listen to anything I am speaking to you?" I was convicted. We all want to build our students, program and effectiveness, it's natural. We want to see things grow and we need to continue to be faithful to our calling.
You build with what you have, not what you wish you had: This thought got me good. Just like anything, you only can build with what you physically have in front of you, not with things you wish you had. Same thing goes for student ministry. You build relationships with the students that show up, you build the program off the budget you have, the events with the resources provided etc. I always get into the mindset of, "If I had this, I would be set. Or if I had more students, then I can do this" and I love to dream and think how things could be, but we can't get into the trap of wishing how things could/should be and miss what is there now and build from it. Build with what you have, stay faithful, and every time in Scripture, God moves in ways we never would have expected. Same thing in our ministries. Build up from what you have and watch God move.