Two weeks…Two weeks of no students. With things changing so quickly, I wasn’t surprised when our church needed to shut down for 2 weeks due to positive COVID-19 cases. The decision was made late on a Thursday night and announced early Friday morning. The first Sunday night back on Zoom I wasn’t too surprised when no students logged on. It was short notice after all. That doesn’t mean it didn’t sting a little bit to have no one ‘at’ youth group… This week though… There have been announcements, reminders, text-messages, emails to parents, social media posts, everything short of sky writing and still no one logged on. It hurts.
I hate Zoom. Not the company; Zoom as a company has done amazing things during this insane time, we are living in. I hate having to use their product. I hate that my students are burnt out on Zoom. I hate that as soon as my kids hear that something is being done on Zoom, they immediately lose all interest in participating in any form. I hate that I feel useless in my position. I hate that even though I know I’m doing everything I can to still connect to and with students nothing ever seems to be enough.
I have tried to embrace the ‘new normal’. I’ve put on a brave face under my mask and told myself that this will all work out for the best. Right now, I’m not seeing how it will work out at all. I struggle daily to remind myself that my God can and will do incredible things through this but right now standing in the middle of the storm I feel as though I’m sinking and so far from land. The past month I and our Worship/Tech minister have been killing ourselves to crank out a virtual VBS in a few short weeks, yet after staring at myself in an empty Zoom call, I’m beginning to wonder, what’s the point? I look at the empty Zoom call and wonder “Will it ever get better?”
My heart and spirit are tired. I’m sure I’m not alone in these emotions. I don’t know what the magic fix to Zoom fatigue is or how God is going to make something amazing happen out of all this pain. But I know he will though. He has to. If you’re in the same spot as I am, I hope you’ll know you aren’t alone. People are praying for you and your students constantly. I wish I had better…heck any advice to give, but all I can say is keep your head up and your heart open. Our students haven’t given up on us or God. Most importantly, God hasn’t given up on us.
I’m the youth pastor at Marysville Christian Church in Marysville, OH and a graduate of Kentucky Christian University (Go Knights!). When I’m not hanging out with students I love to hike and hammock, pretty much anything outdoors! I think I may be the only youth pastor to hate pizza and I that middle schooler students could rule the world if they didn’t have an early bedtime.