I wrote a whole post answering whether I felt the youth work I have been involved in over the last two years has been successful. I got to the end of the post, read it back and deleted it.
Something didn’t seem right about it.
And the truth is, I’m not sure how to evaluate Christian youth work. Yes we can use the questions I proposed in the last post and (kind of) measure if the young people we are working with are developing, moving on, making christ-like decisions but I’m not sure that’s the point.
I guess it depends on the type of work you’re involved in. When I think about our youth fellowship and our house groups, it is hard to evaluate them.
I look at the work that Jesus was involved in. He got to the end of his two/ three years (there’s debate as to how long it actually was) and what had he achieved? If we evaluate the work, what had he really done? The twelve he had worked with had mostly deserted him. On the face of it, that looks pretty poor. If in two months, when I move on from the church, there are no young people there to say goodbye, no young people left in the church, I’ll feel like I’ve failed.
I wonder what Jesus thought as he hung there on the cross. I wonder what he thought of his work?
I worry about the work I’m leaving behind. I worry about the young people. I worry about the church.
But at some point, I just have to trust. I have to trust that God is not finished with him. I have to tell myself that “I’m not Jesus”. I’m not their saviour. I guess that’s why I started writing about evaluation in the first place. I was scared that maybe I’d achieved nothing. That everything I’d done had been for nothing.
And without God, it would all be for nothing.
But there’s God. And I need to trust in that.
- Success in Youth Work (smoorns.wordpress.com)