Ok so since my jr high pastor left I have had to step back into jr high ministry with our interns.
We had a little challenge to our students with a Jr high series. AJ won & his prize was a meal of his choice by any leader of his choice.
Well AJ is moving to Texas on Saturday so tonight was the night for me to pay up.
And i remember why youth ministry is one of the weirdest jobs on the planet. For an hour i did what i could to enjoy conversation, encourage him with the move. But he, like many jr high guys, stone walled me with his face the entire time. It seemed like he was lifeless, in pain at times with us at dinner.
I don't know AJ all that well but i was sitting there nervous, awkward at the setting & trying to hide behind my 14oz COKE glass.
Now after the meal & dropping him off at his house he ended the night with this. "Thanks so much & you are a great youth pastor. Thanks for making CRAVE (jr high ministry) a place i could be myself!"
I wanted to pass out. I mean the whole night seemed painful for him until the night was over.
It just reminded me that our role as youth pastors is enjoying life, relationship with God and helping students experience the same. You can never read what is going on inside a student by their outside expressions.
I also was reminded that i really love working with high school students over jr high. I give jr high workers a lot of praise and encouragement because to do Jr high ministry well takes a gifted person & a whole lot more smarts than i have!
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