Youth Workers: I get it. You want to make sure you are doing your job, reaching students and their families, no matter what the obstacles. Nothing can stop us!
Like you, I’ve been watching all the amazing things other youth workers are doing and getting inspired. The content possibilities are endless! Our families need tools to minister at home. Students need ways to connect with us and their small group leaders and one another. We have more work to do than ever!
But, listen, this mom has some advice for you. Don’t be afraid to slow down. We parents are being bombarded with STUFF to do for our kids. And we are freaking out a little (a lot). I don’t want to be their teacher, scout leader, coach, children’s minister, art teacher, museum interpreter, etc. I am just a mom and this is super stressful. It is overwhelming.
Many parents are trying to navigate all of this while working, through their own email addresses, computers, social media accounts, and phones. Some are at home trying to work while simultaneously homeschooling and some have to leave their kids all day and just hope they don’t burn the house down while they’re gone. Many of us are overwhelmed by this homeschooling thing. Parents are struggling with resource overload.
And, listen, you also need to be you! Do what YOU are good at. I loved watching Josh and Doug’s behind-the-scenes last night for Mariner’s Youth. I hope to watch many of your live youth groups and learn and be inspired. This is all great stuff! But also, if you can’t do that, it’s okay! You don’t suddenly need to be the tech pastor. Be yourself. Your students need YOU, not a tech wizard. Some of us youth workers are trying to do this all while homeschooling our own children! Your small group leaders who are parents are having to learn to zoom with their group, do their jobs from home, and homeschool their own kids. Craziness!
Sure, keep improving and growing, but don’t forget what makes us pastors and ministers. Concentrate on checking on people and sending them love. Now is not the time to send more stuff for parents to stress about.
Text a parent who is a health care worker. Have a FaceTime with a senior who is mourning their milestones. Pray. Send online food delivery to a parent trying to work from home. Read your Bible. Chill. Be still and know who is God.
Ansley has served in youth ministry for two decades and holds a certificate of Youth and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. She loves the relational aspect of youth ministry as well as helping equip adults and students to lead. Ansley lives on her family’s beef cattle farm in Virginia with her husband and two young sons (and, sadly, no llamas).
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