Sometimes I feel like I’m not cut out for this youth ministry stuff.
1. I’m a woman. My church is very accepting of my leadership role, but not all churches are. This is something that I struggle with from time to time, feeling accepted in a position that is male dominated.
2. I’m young. Of course, every year this is less of an issue for me, but when I started my first real youth ministry job, I was only 22, looked 15, and didn’t have a very strong presence about myself. I was, and still often am, looked over in a crowd of youth as someone asks “Where is your leader?” “Right here,” I say as I try to see over the tall students around me.
3. I have a panic attacks. Now, this isn’t something that people usually broadcast about themselves, but there’s a point to be made. Why would a person who freaks out when it comes to taking trips, doing an overnight, or having a booked calendar even consider youth ministry?
4. I’m a mom. Keeping an appropriate balance between being a full-time youth director and a mom to two pre-schoolers isn’t an easy task. I always feel like one or the other is getting cheated.
5. I’m scared of dodgeball. When we played in school I would hide behind the biggest kid on my team and then ask someone to kindly tap me out of the game.
This is why I’m still in youth ministry:
1. I’m blessed to work in a church that accepts my leadership role. With the diversity of youth directors building, I am part of a large community of brothers and sisters with the same goal: to share the love of Christ with teens.
2. I feel young and love relating to the teens. Yes, I do look young, but that will fade with time. I’ve learned to stand tall while keeping my heart young.
3. God is bigger than how I feel. I’ve learned over time that the work that God is calling me to do is more important that my feelings. Pushing through anxiety and living out my call is a gift and opportunity for huge growth.
4. My kids love the youth I work with and are growing up with some great role models. The youth love my kids and I’ve always got a great babysitter when needed.
5. This one is just a weakness, I suppose. But, I can say that I’ve learned to be a great delegator and that my volunteers are awesome at dodgeball!
I know I’m not the only one who gets to feeling inadequate. I pray that we all remember why God has called us into youth ministry. Remember that God is bigger than our feelings of inadequacy and that God can use us in our unique seasons of life. We are blessed.