I really miss teenagers. For more than ten years, in some capacity, I worked with teens, specifically as either a youth staff volunteer, unpaid youth leader, or a full-time Youth Pastor. During this time there were ups and downs, of course. As a whole, though, I really enjoyed the opportunity to serve, pastor, teach, and learn from teens. This is especially true of the last few years that Lauren and I spent in Bentonville, Arkansas, where I was the full-time Pastor of Student & Discipleship Ministries. My primary responsibilities were with the teens, and I enjoyed this tremendously. There were times when I was frustrated, and knew that I was called to do “more” but I always kept sight of how truly blessed I was to be able to do the things I did for a living.
Teens can be frustrating, but they can also be so much fun. Teens possess an ineffable ability and passion to pursue their dreams in a way that can truly change the world. Of course, they need help setting off and staying on course, but when the conditions are right to witness a driven and passionate teen trying to change the world – it is amazing! I miss that.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because, 1) The church that I am the Lead Pastor of has 1 teen (you rock Shelly!) and 2) my former youth group just went on their big summer mission trip that I planned. More than any other time, summer is THE time for youth ministry. This summer, then, is WAY different for me than my previous summers. Here are some of the things I miss:
• Mission Trips
• Wednesday Nights
• Ultimate Frisbee, Football, Basketball, and other Group Games and Sports
• Regional Activity Days (In Bville it was Extravaganza at SNU)
• Discipling young people and seeing them follow God
• Naznite (I LOVE roller coasters!)
So now I’m doing the “more” and I’m glad for the opportunity, but I sure miss teens. My call is wide, and varied, and I’m certainly living into it. Some old experiences are not currently present, and there are many new experiences and responsibilities to learn and grow into.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, I just wanted to share this.