Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Leaving Youth Ministry

I posted this a little while ago on MySpace...
For those who weren't in Sunday School this morning, I announced then that I have been asked to leave Youth Ministry by [the Youth Pastor] -next Sunday is my last time with you, God willing. Although I don't agree with his decision that he and I could not work together anymore, that is his feeling and as Youth Pastor he has the right to choose whomever he wants as a worker.

One student asked why everything seems to be changing and I don't really have an answer for that except to say that life is full of change; new leadership brings different ways of doing business.

You can pray for me- I have been working with youth now, on and off, for over 25 years -the last seven years I have had the privilege to be your Sunday School teacher and now for the first time in a long time, I have to find a new ministry. I am very sad, obviously this wasn't my choice; I would still be working with you all for years to come if it was. Perhaps one day I will be back working with you should circumstances change again. But know this, I remain committed to seeing you become adult followers of Christ regardless of what I'm doing.

The good news is that you will still be seeing me around church on Sundays, just not in the Youth Room. Feel free to come up to me and let me know what God is doing in your life or ask me your really tough questions, I like those.

Some of my "cryptic" posts of late have been alluding to this but I deferred my blog on this until I had a chance to inform the students myself. I was going to announce next week, but enough people already knew, making premature disclosure likely.

Now to the wherefores: If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that there are certain issues I've been ranting about. Some of these issues were issues of disagreement for us. There were philosophy of ministry differences sure, but also issues of respect and leadership that did not allow me to reamin silent. Although I love working with students, maintaining my personal integrity is more valuable to me than continuing and closing my eyes. As one unhappy parent expressed to me, "Youth Pastors come and go, but after they leave, you'll still be here." I can find comfort in that yet it is still painful to say goodbye to the students I love. Some students are perhaps happy to see me go -these are the ones that are only in youth group to "hook-up" or "hang-out" and saw me as an obstacle to their goal. I'd rather not think how much closer they will be to that objective now that I'm gone.