Just a Youth Ministry Geek!

Conversations about modern youth ministry

The grass is always greener… October 9, 2008

Filed under: church,ministry,Uncategorized,youth ministry — Dj @ 4:00 pm

A bit of a confession for me here.

Last night we had youth group. Our groups are divided between Jr. High and Sr. High. Several of my sponsors take the Jr. highers and I have the Sr. High group. I’ve been really excited about my High school class because we’re doing “Destination Unknown” and have a surprise trip each week with a lesson/discussion based on our location.

Or at least…we’re supposed to. Wednesday Night youth groups started over a month ago and none of my high schoolers have shown up. Work. Football. Homework. Band. Etc…our students are just busy. Be sure to check out Tim Schmoyer’s Podcast on how extra curricular activities have an effect on youth groups. Our Jr. High group on the other hand is just EXPLODING! Which has been awesome!

But as I drove home last night after a no-show youth group I passed by the Baptist church where 30 High school students were outside having their own Bible study. You’ve felt it. I know you have. I was tempted to feel it as well. That envy that you wish you had such a large group or that particular building or that budget or that salary package…They say that the grass is always greener, but is it?

Consider a couple things…

  • First and foremost, you are exactly where God wants you to be. If you were some place that He didn’t want you to be, he would move you. He would direct you to another place to serve. You are where you are because you have certain gifts, talents and passions that fit your place of ministry. In God’s eyes, you are perfect for your job.
  • You know what problems and difficulties you face in your current position. Who knows what’s going on in another church. They may have a $20,000 youth budget…but they’re a church torn with division and factions.
  • Bigger is not always better. Some of the best Bible studies I’ve had with students were the times when it was just 2 or 3 of us gathered around a campfire discussing just a few verses of scripture. No big lights. No big band. No huge stage or multimedia programs. Just a few of us gathered around to enjoy the presence of God within us. With smaller groups it is so much easier to get intimate and get down deep into God’s word. With a larger group, you have all kinds of different spiritual depths. You have some students who are in the deep end and some who are just dipping their toes in. With a smaller group it is so much easier to gauge how to construct your lessons and talks because you know them.
  • Your students need you.  YOU!  Yes you!  They need you to continue to model what it looks like to be a Christ follower.  They need you to continue to make yourself look like an idiot to make them laugh.  They need you to continue to be there to talk to them and help them through this crazy thing called life.  They need you.
  • Parents need you to.  They need you to help them learn how to be youth ministers to their children.  They need you because you keep up with what’s going on in teenagers world and can help them navigate the crazy waters of adolescents.  They need you because you can be a neutral person to help in difficult times.

So the grass may seem like it’s greener, but is it really?  It just may be greener, but there are other qualities to grass than just it’s color.  The texture.  The length.  The thickness.  The density.  Make sure you look at all the different qualities of your own lawn of grass before you consider the grass elsewhere.


7 Responses to “The grass is always greener…”

  1. Tim Schmoyer Says:

    Good thoughts, man. Love it!

    Last weekend I spoke at a retreat for sr. pastors, most of them pastors at small-town churches with 30-50 members. Overwhelmingly, the frustration I heard was that they couldn’t compete with the larger churches. “If only we have more people… If only we had more money… If only we had a bigger building… If only… etc… THEN we could do….” It’s sad because the small churches want to be like the big churches, while the big churches are trying to become like the small churches. Be faithful with what God’s given you and be excited about what He’s doing. That’s where you focus should be, NOT on what everyone else is doing.

  2. Dj Says:

    Thanks Tim for your comment! You’re absolutely right! This is the struggle we have right now in our congregation. We’re a modest sized church for our location, but we have a very vocal group of people saying “big building big building!” It’s unfortunate that we use such worldly examples as measures of success.

  3. Mom Says:

    I am so proud your are my son. You need to post your comments on your bulletin board and when you get frustrated take it down and read them.

    Love you.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Those are ALWAYS the best studies in my introverted experience…

  5. Leena (ymx) Says:

    I just came across your blog. I’m restarting middle & high school ym for my congregation. There are a total of 5 high school youth on the roles, they all know and like each other but not necessarily interested in hanging out for study – it has just been so long where they haven’t had it and been fine. So I have had no and “1” shows in the past month. I take that “1” show and turn in it into a time for discipleship. The cool part is the youth reminds me that numbers are not an issue with her and she is interested in digging deeper into the bible and praying, even if other youth aren’t there.

    Blessings as you persevere to pray for those youth and their parents. Sooner than later those Jr high youth will be your high school youth and you won’t know what to do with yourself!

  6. Dj Says:

    Thanks Leena for your comment! We’ve had to adjust a little here lately with our high school group since I posted this. I’ve had a couple of “1” shows and I’ve turned that into a time where me and him get together and work on a project. Last night I was showing him how to put together some video for our children’s program. It’s my hope that our time together will develop into more of that one on one time. Thanks for your encouragement!

  7. […] The Grass Is Always Greener…I wrote this post in the midst of overcoming youth group envy!  We’ve all felt it, that time […]

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