When I think back to the past several years in youth ministry (almost 10 years, if you count the years as a volunteer when I started college), there have been many times when I thought, “This is the hardest time.” However, it seems that another always comes along. What does this mean? I think people can take it in many ways, but I choose to believe that God just wants to keep using me. With every challenge, there are lessons learned to prepare me for the next time.
I do not know if I will ever reach the point of saying this is definitely the hardest it will ever be, but I know there will be trying times in the future. Some of them will be harder than anything I have faced until this point. Honestly, that kind of scares me. I mean, I know that God is with me every step of the way, and He wants me to succeed, but there are some situations that I still do not want to face.
So, what have been your hardest times in your youth ministry years? Was it the time when you broke something that belonged to the church, and you had to tell the elders? Was it the time when you missed something important because one of your students was in the hospital? Was it the time when you had a teenager contemplating suicide? Was it a death of a student? Was it when you were let go from your church? Was it when a group of teens just were not getting what you were teaching? Was it when you had to bail a student out of trouble? Many of these things have happened to me, and I know they all felt horrible at the time.
I would love to hear your stories — not because I enjoy reading about the hard times, but I also want to hear how God brought you through. I think there is a great deal of encouragement when hearing stories of struggle AND resolution. So, please share your stories in the comments!