By Todd Jones
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle (and the occasional drowning feeling) of youth ministry that we forget to pause and be thankful. There are so many things for us as youth workers to be thankful for. Sometimes it’s “wow, that parent didn’t actually get as angry as I thought they would” or “I can’t believe that game actually worked and everyone is still alive.” But there are also some very profound and important aspects of what we do that we need to pause and be thankful for. Here are 7 things to be thankful for in youth ministry:
1. The Opportunity to Influence the Influencers
Students drive the culture. They are the target of most advertisement campaigns, movies, and updates/development of social media and have a very powerful capacity to influence the world around them. They can either be influencers for Christ or influencers for the world.
As youth workers, we have the opportunity to pour into those world-changers and influence the way they will influence the world. For that opportunity, we should all be extremely thankful.
Youth ministry is the best job in the world: we get to have fun while doing ministry. How awesome is that? People always ask if having all this fun seriously counts as work, and the answer is yes, it does. What other position in the world are you able to have this much fun, yet still be doing something so important and eternally valuable? You can’t. It keeps us young and always on our toes. For that we should be thankful.
3. An Amazing Tribe
Youth workers are the coolest people around, have one of the coolest callings, and that is who we get to connect with. I just got back from a youth ministry conference where I had the privilege of spending the weekend with 3,000 other youth workers and I have to say, as a group, youth workers are some of the best people I have ever met in my life. We have an opportunity to network with, encourage, and walk alongside some of the most amazing people in the world. For that, we should be thankful.
4. The Opportunity To Change The Trajectory Of The Church
Our hands are on the steering wheel to change the trajectory of the church; not just your local church but the greater church as well. We often hear of the declining number of churches and church attenders across the country and we have the opportunity to change that. We can steer a generation in the right direction and raise up the next wave of leadership within the church with the foundation necessary to reach people for Christ. It is an amazing and unique opportunity we have and we should be very thankful.
5. Amazing Relationships
Youth ministry is a highly relational ministry and we have the opportunity to be blessed by so many amazing relationships. Relationships with students, past students, other leaders within the ministry, and parents of students can all be wonderful and we get the blessing of experiencing it. For that, we should be thankful.
6. Seeing God Work Miracles
I am sure we could all tell stories of students whose lives were completely changed; students who were atheists, involved in gangs, doing drugs, disrespectful, angry, or just flat out difficult to get through to until that changed. Lives look different and you’ve witnessed it. We have a front row seat to watch God’s power work in students’ lives. That is absolutely amazing and is something we should be very thankful for.
7. That God Chooses To Use Us
God is all-powerful and He doesn’t need us to reach students. I don’t know why, but He chose us to minister to students and point them to Him. I am—and we all need to be—extremely thankful for that.
Don’t allow these moments to blend in with the day-to-day craziness of youth ministry. Take a moment, pause, and thank God for all of these things and the many more blessings you have undoubtedly received through youth ministry. Thank you for being a youth worker!!
Todd is a youth pastor in California and has been in youth ministry for over a decade. He is also the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry (http://stokedonyouthministry.com). You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com