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The hardest part of youth ministry

It’s not all the meetings, reports, event planning, vision casting, or trainings. It’s not even working with upset parents, disappointed church leaders or feeling unappreciated and often misunderstood.

The hardest part of youth ministry is the emotional toll it takes to be involved with students’ lives and see them giving in to the deceit of sin despite what they know is right. It breaks my heart. But it reminds me how often I do the same. Now I understand a little of how God must feel about me.


Posted on November 9, 2006

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  • Well said, Tim. Well said.

  • Ben

    Right on, Tim. It really hurts to see young people go back to the lies & harmful patterns of living…especially after God does some pretty incredible stuff in their lives.

    But yes, right on, very much reveals how God must feel about us.

    Praying for ya…

  • I agree wholeheartedly Tim, though I feel I need to add.

    For my onwn experience, the hardest part has been pouring myself into teens who will then turn around and throw it back into my face, not wanting to believe my words or see my actions for what they are. That is my hardest part, right after teens who no longer care.

  • Tim, the hardest part of Ministry for me is to see a teen come to Christ then decide to go back into the world, the influences of their old friends and the bodage that they were redeemed from. Sometimes I feel like a complete failure in ministry.

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  • As an adult leading coworker in youth groups I fully agree with the things I’ve read here …

    But for me currently there is indeed the point of: “feeling unappreciated and often misunderstood” as the hardest part of youth ministry (not referring that to me as being misunderstood, but to my teens).

    Namely by the church leaders and other leading teams in church, which try to (ab)use us adult youth group leaders as foreign correspondents, constantly avoiding the direct communication to the young generation, especially listening to them.

  • Ebere Samuel

    You’re right Tim.
    Now for me, one of my concerns is the idea that, the change expected in young people has to be made possible by the youth worker. Most times the role of parents and other stakeholders are not taken seriously. Imagine the confusion a youth faces hearing so much from the pulpit but coming home to see their parents do the exact opposite. What a confusion.

    The Lord will help us.

    Ebere Samuel

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