Tonight I had the strong urge to write a blog post about saying goodbye in youth ministry. It hit me because we’re going through it again – first Robby (leaving HSM to be a lead campus pastor for a regional Saddleback) and now Becka (leaving HSM at the end of a fantastic 2-year internship). I wanted to post to be about how saying goodbye is just part of the gig we’re called to, that we have team members, volunteers and graduating seniors that eventually leave our life and we have to be OK with that.
Then I did a quick search of the blog and realized that I already wrote that exact post just 2 months ago (Saying Goodbye is Part of Youth Ministry). So tonight, in my sorry of saying goodbye again, I wanted to focus on how saying “hello” is part of youth ministry, too:
Hello to incoming freshman
This is the time of year when freshman are coming into your high school ministry for the very first time. As your students go back to school and rubbing shoulders with their friends, expect some new faces to show up. Make it a point to seek out new freshman and be particularly welcoming them into your community.
Hello to great volunteers
The beginning of the school year is when new volunteers, particularly small group leaders, typically enter the ministry. Take the time to make them feel welcomed, trained and encouraged as they begin their time serving students. Your relational investments and the community you build could help keep them around for years.
Hello to great members of the staff
As hard as it is for us to say goodbye to great team members – even staff – it gives us a chance to see God putting the pieces together for what is next.
Every goodbye is a chance for a new hello. As you mourn the loss of a great senior class just a few months ago, pour into the new freshman. As you think about that long-time volunteer who finally steps away, remember the new team forming for the next season. And when you have to say goodbye to a great pastor on staff, remember God is about to introduce you to who He has next.