"Discouragement may be the single most powerful feeling that entices great women and men to exit prematurely from youth ministry." -Doug Fields
The last three weeks have been tiring and challenging. A mixture of scary projects, weighty responsibility, and fear of failure really wore me down.
"Discouragement is a reality in all ministry, not just youth ministry. Where people live, sin exists. Where sin exists, problems abound. Where problems abound, discouragement follows. Count on it! When you say yes to ministry, you also say yes to periods of discouragement. Anyone who doesn't admit to occasional seasons of discouragement owns a timeshare on Fantasy Island." - Doug Fields
I was driving home on Wednesday, full of tears of exhaustion and disappointment that I couldn't contain. It isn't that my life and job are so horrible, but ministry by nature means that you are vulnerable almost all the time. As a camp counselor, I would cry at least once a week. My wishes and hopes, combined with impatience and inconvenient empathy, often overwhelm me. When I was almost home, this song came on.
Give to the wind your fearThis weekend's 5th Quarter with Willet went pretty well. I think there were around 50 people there, and everyone had a good time. They played again at Jacob's Well this morning. Now that the retreat and 5th Quarter are over, I'm feeling as if they went pretty well.
Hope and be undismayed
God hears your sighs and counts your tears
God will lift up, God will lift up, lift up your head
-traditional hymn by Paul Gerhardt, translated by John Wesley
"There is hope, and, because the God of the universe is involved, it's plentiful. Light is out there for you. Don't lose sight of the eternal Light in the midst of temporary darkness. When discouragement hits you, count on God to use that season in your life to increase your ministry effectiveness." - Doug FieldsI'm writing this entry partly for catharsis, and partly because I want to be open about my experience in ministry. Too often, we are afraid to tell people that we are doubtful or discouraged, but those are the times that God helps us to grow.