I had a really good morning at church yesterday. I’ve been putting together a 24 hour prayer room for the church in June and there were nine hour slots left for people to sign up for. I spoke during the service about the need to humble ourselves and spoke about how the civil rights movement, the NHS and the modern school system all came out of prayer meetings. I spoke about my excitement and expectancy for what God might lay on our hearts during those 24 hours.
After the service, we are left with just one hour block needing filled. I was happy.
A parent also came up to me and said I must be doing a good job as her son (and two friends) came and asked them their thoughts on a whole bunch of theological issues. She was pleased that they were engaging with faith outside of the ‘normal’ groups. I felt really good.
Ten hours later, I returned from the Sunday night youth fellowship tired, weary and one question swirling around my head: ‘why am i doing this?’
Nothing bad happened last night. The young people didn’t trash the place or anything like that. Nobody attacked me or swore at me or did anything to annoy me. It was worse than that. Nothing happened. I didn’t have any real opportunity to engage with the young people. I was overseeing the night, presenting it from the front and clearing things up at the end.
I guess that’s the problem of being the youth worker of the church. You want to do everything, but you can’t. You want to be the one running the event, getting to know the young people, building relationships, working with the volunteers, helping everyone grow, planning for the future etc.
I’ve been trying to do that for the last nine months. And it’s left me tired and weary.
I can’t do everything. And you know what, I shouldn’t. It’s not all about me, regardless of how much I want it to be.
Does anyone else go through this?
It’s silly. I get jealous of some of the other volunteers who seems to be getting on great with the young people whilst I’m standing about picking up the rubbish. But so what? It’s not about me. I’m just here to facilitate. I can’t be ‘super youth worker’!
It reminds me that I need to centre myself before God again and realize that I am called to do a certain job and that’s the job I need to do. We are a team. The volunteers play their part and I play mine. Sometimes it means I’ll have the night to talk to the young people and sometimes it won’t. My job is to fill the gap. To see what needs to be done and do it. So what if I can be everyone’s friend? So what if I can’t be the one that they all confide in for advice? Can you imagine what my life would be like if that were the case? I’d be enough more weary than I am right now.
I’m also looking forward to a holiday. I’ve been working since August and apart from a few days at Christmas and Easter, I’ve not had a proper holiday. A holiday where I turn off the phone, the laptop, the e-mail and be me again. Where i remember that what is important is my relationship with God and my family. Where I remember that it’s not all about me.
Where I remember that i am created to be. Not do.
- The Life of An Insecure Youth Worker (smoorns.com)