Is it budgeting meeting time for you too? Some of you join me in solidarity as you just went through this meeting yourself, and others of you just got mad at me for reminding you that it’s coming up in a few months. Woops, sorry.
It’s no secret that many churches are hurting finically and when it comes to the church budgeting meeting sometimes it looks likes a wrestling match. Different ministries are fighting to not lose money here or to gain money there. Then it comes time to talk about student ministry and the criticisms starts.
Some of the comments are constructive.
Some of the comments you just nod politely and think, “Homie, you think student ministry is just a good message and a game huh? Ahh that’s cute.”
Then there it is; that one comment that pierces you where it hurts most. You just want walk out of the room crying or reach across the table and strangle the person. You know that feeling I’m talking about? Perhaps this feeling did not occur at that budget meeting. Maybe it that one comment from a parent, or that co-worker, or that e-mail, or something else entirely, but as a youth worker you are not only offended, but your feelings are hurt and for a split (or not so split) moment you are numb.
I want to recognize the reality that we in student ministry also hurt. We also go through pains and trials. Sometimes it is work related; we can be having a great time in ministry and then something happens negatively at work and we hold on to that. Yes, I know it is not healthy to hold on to the negative, but let’s admit that we hold on to the negative from time to time. Sometimes our hurt is not work related at all. We too feel loneliness, and we too know the feeling that everything is not alright.
Today, I just want to simply remind you that YOU ARE LOVED. You are loved first of all by the Creator of the universe. You are loved by the God who is compassionate, gracious; slow to anger, and abounding in love and faithfulness. You are loved by the very same God who called you to this ministry. God wants you in this ministry journey. We tell students all the time that they are loved and they are not alone. This time it is our turn to hear that too.
We are loved and we are not alone. Remember when we tell students that Christ shares in their sufferings? Remember when we tell students that Christ knows full well our pains and struggles? Yes, that message is for us as well.
We are loved and we are not alone.
Also know that you are loved by your students and their families. They love you for coming to their games. They love you for coming to their concert. They love you for just being there when they are hurting. They love you for how you have cared for their child.
Friends, we know that hurt still continues, but we have a hope that helps us continue in life and in ministry.
Friends, YOU ARE LOVED.
*This post was written by my very good friend/pastor/my groomsmen/college roommate who is the Student Ministries Director at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Long Beach, CA. He is one of my favorite people on this earth and you can follow him on Twitter @wernerramirez