Why are we in youth ministry? What is it really all about?
A colleague of mine from seminary recently shared a thoughtful parable he wrote in which he finds himself on the front steps of his church on Easter morning after the worship service and everyone else has gone home. To his surprise, as he is sitting there eating leftover Easter candy, up walks Jesus:
"So," he says, "how'd it go today?"I shrug. "They played tic tac toe.""What?""The high schoolers. They were playing tic tac toe or something during my sermon. I saw them. One of them even looked up to see if I'd noticed, like they were getting away with something; like I'm a moron." I pop another egg into my mouth before I get too carried away.He helps himself to another handful as well. "That's the first thing you respond with? A couple kids drawing on the bulletin?
The rest of the parable spins out this conversation and really asks why we even bother with this whole ministry thing at all. What motivates us to keep going even when we are unsure anyone is paying attention? It is a parable written from the viewpoint of a senior pastor but it speaks just as profoundly to anyone in youth ministry who has every asked, "Am I making a difference with these young people?" You can read the entire parable here.