on youth ministry

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One of the hardest things I am learning in ministry is that you can't please everyone. I know that far older, and far wiser friends and mentors have shared this insight before with me. But for some strange reason, I thought I could do it. I am officially done trying to please every one. I can't do it. I was listening to a CD from NCYM, it was the roundtable that Dr. Oglesby did, anyway, it was an encouraging lesson. He shared several of his failures in ministry and shared how at times he would feel utterly defeated and worthless as a youth minister. But, what we see as failure with kids, doens't always have a bad ending. That's encouraing to me. For I am reminded that God isn't done with them yet. We get into the trap of looking for perfection when instead we should be looking for progress. I have ministered to several kids that are the one's that just don't seem to listen, they are constant sources of frustration and retreat is often the only seemingly viable option. But, there are those stories of the unruly ones, being stirred later on in life by Jesus, and commit their selves to him completely. I needed that message this afternoon. For I get so bogged down by what I am not seeing, that I miss the progress that kids are making. Another key insight from the CD dealt with how we percieve our ministry success. Do we rely on our ability and giftedness or do we rely on God? This may sound like a no-brainer, but I think many of us wrestle with this. For some it's an issue of competency, for other's it's an issue of pride. But, the bottom line is that we cannot effectively minister in our own strength. We need God's power, His Spirit empowerment and presence to truly be effective.

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