Crystal Chiang is the director of student strategy at Orange. On Sunday morning at NYWC 2019, she started off her Big Room talk by sharing her joy for being here, because the people here have the “get it” factor. And one of the things we can get for each other more than anything else is the pressure of youth ministry. That pressure comes from various places. When we go home from events like this, we feel excited but we could also feel even more pressure about how to take everything home.
So how do we deal with the pressure? We try to numb it. Sometimes in good ways, but sometimes in bad ways.
Crystal urged us to think about the stats about ministry burnout, saying that even if the stats are only half true, there will still hundreds of youth workers who will not be here next year because of burnout and/or giving up.
The pressure we feel sometimes mirrors the pressure the people in the Bible experienced. The truth is that there are so many things that we won’t be able to do or improve. Similar to the Israelites, there will always be manna left on the ground.
The Apostle Paul also realized this pressure. In many of his letters to the churches, Paul begins and ends them the same way: Grace and peace. As we think about the pressure of youth ministry, no two words have more importance.
Grace: unmerited, unearned, undeserved
Peace: allows us to keep going when we reach our limit
Crystal said, “We often trust grace with our salvation but not our profession. We will reach a point where our ability runs out but His keeps going,” and then she closed by saying, “The faith we live, and not preach, is the one we pass on to the next generation.”
Let’s remember both grace and peace as we lead the next generation!