If you have ever held a job and been paid by someone then you more than likely have had to do something that you did not like. This is a simple fact of adult life. This is not a job-specific issue; everyone deals with it from time to time. Whether it be a task you are asked to do or a regular part of your everyday routine, if you have not experienced it yet…it will come. Even those extremely positive people who seem to enjoy everything come across something asked of them that is not their favorite. What an encouraging picture to paint, Jesse. All I need is a message to start my week off saying I’m stuck doing stuff I don’t like. What’s the point of this?
My first point is, we tend to focus on the negative. So let’s try and change the culture. For example: Say you’ve had a pretty good youth night but at the end a fight breaks out between two people that seems to take over the group. How do you leave that evening? Feeling good for the hours of successfully executed ministry or upset and frustrated over the bad 10 minutes at the end? If we begin to consciously change where our focus is to more positive things then our overall outlook on life will be more positive. How would your Corps, your community, your group of friends change if we sought joy on purpose? If you are already there, then good! Keep it up…and rub off on the rest of us!
My second point is, in the midst of something or many things we have to do that we may not like to do, look for the light. For example, if you are told NO often in your creative pursuits for ministry, made to drive the bus instead of teach or ased to use your usual planning time to act as janitor then do them knowing that it is helping someone. Get through it. Find your niche. Find that one night or that one activity and make it yours. Youth night feel so structured that you cannot have any relational connection with your youth group? Use a Friday night outing to spark spiritual conversation with your teens. Make driving the bus an experience by decorating it differently every so often or institute group games.(Think family car ride kind of stuff)
My hope is not that we just ‘suck it up and get over it’ but that we can take everything given to us and expected of us and concentrate on the good while elevating the rest. As teen director, my favorite things were on total ends of the spectrum: I loved the serious moments of sunday school discussion or Youth Councils devotions but I also loved Water Wars & Paintball. I did not love running our stats or preparing Corps Cadet lessons but I did them recognizing that it’s all a ministry. As a youth minister, you are not just called to minister to the youth but also to their parents, to your Corps Officers and the rest of the Corps. Another way to say it is: I have to do this so that I get to do that. Focusing too much on what you don’t get to do will quickly lead to burn-out. So find your niche and be awesome!