It was just a couple weeks ago – I was about to take the stage at our parent Meet ‘N Greet event for Life Groups. The energy was high and there’s always a buzz around the launch of our small groups. Right before I went on I had an incredibly difficult conversation. It was of those blow the wind-right-out-of-your-sails, painful, brought me to tears sort of moments you my have had in youth ministry. My mind raced to the implications of the conversation – the students, the leaders, the parents, the church, our ministry reputation, the cause of Christ … and then I went on stage.

No one knew what I had to carry that night, and until this blog post no one would have known and maybe would have never guessed the heavy weight that was on my shoulders.

Youth workers carry heavy things. We stand in the gap for families, we stand up for teenagers. We cling to the Lord. It isn’t the stereotypical and playful career many people wrongfully believe it is – although at times I wish it was just videogames, laser tag and pizza. In reality, at times it is heavy, gut-wrenching and painful calling.

There’s so much that could be said in this moment: encouraging your close personal walk with Jesus, making sure you have safe people for you to process with, stuff like that. But I just wanted to quick say thank you for carrying some really heavy stuff as a youth worker. Most people will never know the nitty gritty details about that rough situation in your church or even come close to feeling the weight the burdens you helped someone remove at the foot of the cross. The pressure you live under daily or the exhaustion after serving the needs of others nonstop.

Thanks for carrying people when they’re weak, thanks for serving faithfully. Thanks for lightening people’s load as you serve Jesus today.