Nov 27th, 2008
Youth ministry can be a thankless job. At the same time I would argue it can be one of the most compelling and fulfilling jobs in the world. But there’s no doubt that often times it is underappreciated. A peer doesn’t understand youth ministry entirely and your reckless abandon to do what you do. Students, whose lives have been changed as a result of the ministry, don’t run up to you every weekend with a giant hug and tell you how much you are loved and appreciated.
Earlier I was mulling over the story of Jesus and the 10 Lepers (Luke 17:11-19). Jesus heals 10 men with leprosy, giving them a second shot at life. The men rush away, and sometime later, only one of them comes back to say thank you.
I think this is a great picture of youth ministry! Students have been healed and lives have been changed - but the “thank you ratio” is way off. I do love those moments when a former student comes back to the church after a few years of being away and says thank you. I love the emotion when a student’s life is changed and they can’t help but thank you. And I know that if I expect to be thanked, I’ll be disappointed.
The most important thing to remember is that even if no one thanks you for doing what you are doing, you are healing people and setting them free. Embrace the ones that return to thank you, but remember those will be rare treasures. If Jesus only got 1:10 thank you’s’ … then I’m in real trouble.
Thank you for serving in youth ministry at Grace. It is an honor to serve with you.