I remember the looks on their faces at my first youth ministers conference; they were tired- no- exhausted. Wide-eyed and eager to learn what the call of being a youth minister looked like, I was already feeling defeated. What was I getting myself into? And then I got it. I found myself three years into ministry and I was already exhausted too. Long nights, early mornings, endless work, and the inability to be with family and friends when they are available was a majority of how my time was spent. Ministry is hard. I couldn’t imagine ever being a youth minister with a husband or raising children…yikes! That first conference made that clear and it was only becoming more and more clear to me. Something had to change.
Praying was hard, I knew that going in, but I was able to withstand that daily obstacle. Youth ministers had warned me about the inevitable struggle of feeding yourself when all you had time to do was serve. Luckily I am weak and before getting too far, I realized that I could not give what I didn’t have.
I started dating and knew that ministry would change. How could I give the endless hours I had been giving and somehow find time to go on dates, discern my vocation, and try to see both families every weekend? This is not an easy task; but exhausted, I made it work. Not sure how much longer I could last with ministry taking me away from the man I was falling in love with, I decided to invite him to be my second adult in charge for ministry. Not the ideal form of a date night, but I was doing my best.
My now husband decided that he would like to help; simple interest at first, it definitely became a call, and for that I’m so grateful! After that first simple invitation ,each week has allowed us the opportunity to do ministry together and now the hours spent on this ministry I have is not taking me from my family, but enhancing my family life. Ministry is no longer stemming only from my personal prayer life, but from my husbands personal prayer, and our daily prayer together.
I realize it’s not always possible for a husband and wife to minister together and it’s not always easy to find a man and a woman who can serve the church as a team. But it’s such a gift and worth the effort to make it happen. Not being a man; I cannot give the men who attend my youth group the life skills on how to be a man. I can encourage them, but my husbands presence calls them on in ways I just can’t. And while he can listen during our group discussion and empathize, my husband cannot express fully to the ladies what a woman of God looks like.
Through our witness together, the young people can see both a woman and man who are still young and seeking the Lord looks like. They can see a healthy relationship, the vocation of marriage lived out, and a more full joy in mission.
Through Gods grace and our witness, for the first time since the beginning of this youth group, it group has doubled in size from where it first began and from the graduating seniors of last year who witnessed both a female and male leader, a young adult group has been created. God is good!
What will it take for your witness to be noticed by your teens? How are you showing them how to be a man and/or woman of God? How much of your ministry are you doing alone? I invite you to spend some time in prayer this week and contemplate the mission God is inviting you into and how you are going to respond!