An easy job… maybe I’ll trade you someday
A friend made a comment recently… “You’ve got an easy job, maybe I’ll trade you someday.”
My automatic response is a yeah followed up by a small laugh.
I’m not truly sure how to respond to such a comment. I know it’s not intended to be hurtful, but the truth is it is a comment made out of ignorance. I had just returned from a week of camp. The assumption is that camp is all fun and games… a vacation. In reality a lot of camps are fun and games… not necessarily a bad thing, just the way it is.
We have chosen to support and take our high school students to Kadesh. An incredible week, fun and exciting for sure… but easy? Not even close. This week is physically, spiritually, and mentally the hardest week of my year. There is an intense amount of prayer, worship, study, and service this week of camp. Our heads hit the pillows around 2am and we arise the next morning around 7am. During the afternoon we have about 30 minutes where we are not with students. A demanding week that leaves everyone exhausted, but changed. Real Life Change happens at Kadesh, I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it.
Youth ministry may not be rocket science, it may not be counter-terrorism, but I’m sad that people see it as easy or just fun. There is nothing like it, but those two adjectives barely scratch the surface of all that youth ministry encompasses. I don’t want to go down in bitter flames as I continue this post, so let’s just leave it at this… youth ministry or youth ministers will be misunderstood… it’s so much more than teen babysitting.
Thank God I have been able to spend a few years involved in it and thank God I have a staff and leadership team that support and encourage me.
If you have a youth minister at your church, take time to thank them for all the work you see them do, and all that you don’t… they probably don’t get thanked enough.