Leading people is an absolute grind. Sometimes it can feel like you are putting in a lot of work to see very little return in the physical. Im sure we’ve all asked ourselves why we chose to go into this profession or, better yet, questioning if God even called us to this work.
I’m here to encourage you, youth leader, keep going.
I know it isn’t easy, but students need us now more than ever. They need people in their lives that will love them unconditionally and pour into them the hope that can only be found in Jesus. So if you are feeling weary today, remember why you do what you do and who you do it for.
Here are four things that can help us remember:
Prayer / Confession to God
This may sound cliche but engaging God while feeling all the emotions that come with weariness could help you see Him in new ways. I’ll never forget a time early in youth work when I felt like everything I was doing was failing and that I was wasting my life. As I brought my tears to God in brokenness and honesty, He met me in ways mere words cannot describe. Nothing can replace time with the creator.
Talk about it in a like-minded Community
Knowing you are not alone in this is a powerful tool to help one gain perspective. Encouragement and admonishment come in the context of brothers and sisters who understand what you are going through. Find some people you can trust, and if you already have them, confide in them, or their sake and yours.
Document stories of changed lives as moments of encouragement in your calling
When I feel like what I’m doing isn’t impacting anybody, I think about all the students that God has already transformed through the work we are doing. Back in college, I would write it in my diary so I could look back; now, I jump on social and look at how different some people’s lives are now Jesus has flipped their world upside down. This is a compelling reminder to keep going.
Remember your own pain
Do you remember what it was like when you didn’t know Jesus? When your life was spiraling out of control? When you couldn’t do anything to fill the void? Never forget. All the youth out there that feel the way we felt need you to remember, so you’ll pour your life out as a drink offering, giving to them in ways they will never be able to repay, all for the sake of the Kingdom.
Keep going, my brothers and sisters, keep going.
Jordan Francis is a team member at reframe youth in Phoenix, AZ