Responding when trust is lost in ministry [Time Out]

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soulTime Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
by Adam Wormann

Over time, through mentorships, twitter, and other fun things I’ve gotten the chance to know a good number of youth workers. I love that. This week, it kind of stinks, because I hear some of the stuff that goes on that’s just really sad. I’ve been talking with a youth worker who’s suddenly taking some heat due to someone else’s mistake. As a result of that, all trust is gone between he and two other pastors on staff, both of whom he was telling me a week ago that, “although we have disagreements in some philosophical things, I really respect their character.” Now, he’s afraid to even talk to his staff. It’s not a good situation.

The sad thing is that so many youth workers can relate to that. We often feel under-appreciated and/or attacked. The reality is that it often happens because youth workers are often younger and have an arrogance that they don’t yet realize, or an attitude that rubs people the wrong way. It also often happens because other people don’t understand youth ministry as well, and try to impose things. Sometimes it’s our fault, sometimes it’s someone else’s. The bottom line is that it usually happens because of sin. That sucks.

I’ve been studying 1 Peter on my own recently. Today, I was reading 1 Peter 2 again. Here’s the first few verses:

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (ESV)

We deal with garbage. Sometimes it’s our fault, sometimes it’s not. If it’s our fault, we need to own up to it. Do a good heart search.

If it’s truly not our fault, we have to figure out how to deal with it. What Peter says here is huge. He goes on to stress holiness. We need to strive for that. So, in our quest for holiness, how do we react? Well, right away, we have to be careful about the way that we treat others. We need to be the same in front of and behind them. And the words out of our mouth better not be destructive. Even if it’s unfair, even if it’s wrong, we cannot come back in an unholy manner. Yes, we strive to right the wrongs and to reconcile the relationship. We need to make sure we’re going about that with a pure heart.


  • Is there someone that you need to begin making amends with?
  • Are you struggling treating someone with respect? What are you doing about it?
  • Can you commit to going one day without any of the big 5 that Peter mentions (malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, slander)? Do it with someone? Try it for a week? It may be harder than you think…

Posted on September 26, 2011

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