Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Peeling Onion Layers

I went back to the town where I was last a youth minister. I got to see my awesome volunteers, a few students and tonight I had dinner with one of the families that I got quite close to. I found myself missing these people so very much and wondering, yet again, what was wrong with that pastor who let me go. Pardon me "didn't renew my contract".

I thought I had gotten over it, and mostly I have. I don't dwell on it and I don't have the urge to curse when I think of the pastor. However, I did find myself grieving again for what will never be. For the relationships that had to be cut off. For the kids and their siblings who I won't get to grow with. For all the programs that were in their infancy and needed some time to mature. For decisions I made that weren't popular to germinate and be found worthy of the parents' support.

Then I played the "if only" game. If only he had been more patient, if only I had fought harder, if only he could have a clue as to what is needed in youth ministry, if only he, if only he... if only he...

But, he didn't. And here we are. Here I am. Driving out of town. Mourning again, peeling off more layers of the damage done. There is good in this somewhere...


Blogger Tim said...

I'm sorry for the pain you've experienced, and I will pray for you. I find great hope in Romans 8:28. God doesn't lie - so rest assured, there will be good.

1:34 AM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

Thanks, Tim. I appreciate that.

Interestingly enough I was out to dinner with another volunteer. She's stepped up to do some work in the absence of myself and any new hire. She is pulling her hair out because of this man. Three other volunteers quit on him as well. And the 1/2 million$$ youth center that he wanted so desparetly never got off the ground either. I have a consolation, albeit selfish: What is the common denominator here? The Pastor!!!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I know the kind of frustration you must be feeling. I've volunteered in youth ministry for 7+ years, and I've experienced disappointments when decisions are made that appear to me to be totally contrary to the direction in which the Lord wants to move. My disappointments weren't of the magnitude of the ones you're facing, but I think the approach we must take is basically the same. We have to accept the fact that the Lord has placed, or at least allowed, the person (pastor) to be in this place of authority. We can lift up our frustations to the Lord, and that's exactly what He would have us do, but we must do it with a spirit of humility, not anger or bitterness.
In that spirit, I offer this prayer for you, my sister in Christ:

"Lord, please help my sister. She is frustrated and heartbroken by the actions of this pastor. He seems to be ignoring the Holy Spirit and doing things out of spite. He's preventing her from doing the things she feels called by You to do. I ask you to bless this pastor. I ask you to open his eyes to your will. I ask you to heal any wounds he has and strengthen him in areas of weakness. You have allowed him to be shepherd of this parish. Please help him fulfill that role according to Your will. If you truly wish my sister to be youth minister of this parish, I ask you to make a way - not our way, but Your way Lord. And if for some reason You are intentionally preventing my sister from taking this role, please reveal to her your purpose, and grant her a deep sense of peace in her heart, no matter what the circumstances. Come Holy Spirit, and move in my sister's life and be her guide every moment. She loves you with all her heart, Lord, and she wants to serve you in accordance with Your plan. Please help her, and all of us who wish to serve you, to find Your way. I pray this in the name of Your Son and our Lord, Jesus. Amen."

9:23 PM  

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