It is life changing:
The "bottom line" of why I do what i do is to see teenagers encounter the person of Jesus Christ & embrace the truth that He is God himself. For those who have acknowledged that life it is to help them grow in their understanding of who Jesus is & what that means for their life.
It is to help them think for themselves how to live out a life of faith, hope & love as they are a part of humanity.
Is daily interaction with people:
Youth ministry is more than just being around teenagers. A big part of youth ministry is dealing with parents/families, other adult leaders who want to invest into teens. Yes there is the interaction with the teenagers, but truthfully it is only about %50 of the job. I can't impact the lives of 50+ teenagers, but i can' impact 5 other leaders who can help me share the load of impacting 50+ teenagers.
Dealing with real life, in real people gets real messy. You deal with teenagers who struggle with self esteem so they attempt to fix that with anything they can. Drugs, sex, violence, sports, academics & almost anything else under the sun. They live in a pressurized bubble but yet it seems their freedom & joy of being 'just a teenager' is stolen from them at times. Part of my role is to encourage them as they navigate life.
It is challenging to help teenagers think for themselves and rethink everything about life. It is messy to show teenagers the truth of Jesus Christ & His message and say "now live your life COMPLETELY opposite how you see majority of your friends & peers living"
It is heartbreaking to pour yourself into the life of another human being with encouragement, support, prayer, mentoring & love to see them become someone that leaves a wake of destruction in their path because they live a life of selfishness.
It is also heartbreaking to see someone who feels so lost, abandoned and alone in life to embrace a relationship with Jesus Christ and become so alive and full of life that it brings tears to your eyes.
It forces me to think deeper:
Teenagers question, analyze, think deeply & challenge so much of their life during their high school years. I enjoy hearing their thoughts & reactions so culture, religion, friendships, music, movies, books, situations, etc because it forces me to be reminded that the world they 'live in' is unlike any other social setting on the face of this earth. It forces to be ask questions of how can we help, encourage, challenge them with the message & life of Jesus Christ. And while i ask those questions it challenges me in my faith along with them.
Youth Ministry is not an easy explanation. Never has been for me. I think part of that reason is because so much is dependent on the supernatural. I think the other part is unless your a teacher, coach or counselor why else would any spend time with teenagers right?
I guess for me part of why i love what i do is because when teenagers see you investing in them & helping them navigate life they blossom. They thrive. They live up to a new standard in life instead of down. When they realize that life doesn't have to be figured out now & they are able to breathe deeply in 'just being them' there is freedom.
To see a human being embrace the living divine God & interact with him daily you never know what is going to happen. Again dealing with the supernatural is unpredictable...maybe that is why i thrive off what i do.
The unknown of tomorrow, but know its part of the story God has written for us!