Friday, May 20, 2011

10 (Very Specific!) Things I Miss About Student Ministry

I've been out of youth ministry for over 4 years now due to my own sin and selfishness, and not a day passes that I don't miss it.  As I wrote yesterday's post for this blog (What Does A Youth Pastor Do All Day?) my brain was flooded with memories.  So today I want to share with you 10 things that I miss.  These are not the general "I miss the kids" or "I miss seeing students come to know Jesus."  Of course I miss those things.  These are a bit more specific.  For those of you who know me, I hope these will remind you of some great times gone by.  For those of you who work with teenagers, I hope these will urge you to treasure the moments you share with them.  Here we go:
  1. I miss praying for a group, loading the vans, and cranking up the traditional trip starting tune- Bohemian Rhapsody! Oh yes we did!
  2. I miss sitting in the youth room an hour before anyone else arrived- praying for that night's program and the students who would make it special.  And I miss the overwhelming excitement I would feel at every church when someone new would come through the door!
  3. I miss sending out the famous Summer Packets that were always loaded with contests- and then waiting for the Youth Group Hotline to start ringing off the hook with excited students trying to win prizes- most of them worthless.
  4. I miss school holidays when my office would be so full of students that I couldn't get anything done- those were some of my best days.
  5. I miss those moments on trips- you know the ones- when all of you realize that you will never, ever forget what just happened to you.  They are etched forever on your brain.
  6. I miss sitting around the table with Youth Ministry Teams, brainstorming the wildest, craziest ideas we could come up with, and then running them through our Purpose Statement to see if they would help us accomplish our goals. I LOVED my volunteers!
  7. I miss doing Senior Roasts, those great events where everyone gets to tell stories and share their love with those who are about to graduate.  I miss telling those graduates just how much I love them.
  8. I miss standing in front of a youth group playing my guitar and listening to them sing, for fun and for worship.  I can still feel youth rooms shaking as we rocked out to Lahina.  If I close my eyes I can still hear groups split into parts and singing Prince of Peace & Sing Alleluia.  And I got to stand up front and soak it all in...
  9. I miss those moments at events and on trips when you manage to surprise your students in a big way, and they look at you with eyes that say "I can't believe you did this for us..."
  10. And finally, I miss the phone calls.  The ones in the middle of the night after something had gone terribly wrong.  The ones when a student had just been dumped.  The ones when they just heard an old song on the radio and they know I would know what it was.  The ones to tell me that they just made the team or just got a new car.  I miss being someone they knew they could count on.
I may need a tissue or two now...


  1. It takes special people with a special calling to be youth ministers.

  2. AnonymousMay 21, 2011

    Yes... Carl was like "google" before there was a "google"! Wanna know the name of that song? Just "Carl" it! :) -Keri Vinson Johnston


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