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, September 05, 2007

Frustration has set in

A few weeks later, I'm still loving my job. It's becoming more real by the day, a little less idealistic then I thought, but nothing that I haven't expected, so that's good.

I need advice. I have a member of my "youth group" who follows every inquiry with, "well, Ryan did it this way "...Ryan's the old youth minister. I know that you can't go in changing things, I understand that (thanks Jen!) and I'm keeping things the same (not changing youth group times or structures etc). I guess the issue is that I didn't have youth group for the last two weeks (it was labor day and the weekend before was the day before Catholic school started) and that bothered this teen. He's like, "well, Ryan never cancelled youth group" why did you cancel? I understand his question and I was honest. I told him about school starting and that I needed to get organized.

My question is this: How much do I have to keep the same? Ryan left me next to nothing to go off of, so I don't know everything. Do I really have to spend my money on stocking sodas in the youth room? Can I put up a bookshelf? Can I organize my desk? I know there's Ryan worship, but at some point, I have to be able to do something to get my life in order in a way that makes sense.

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Blogger Steve said...

I was in a very similar situation and here are a few suggestions. Try and figure out from other adults and the kids what the routine was and try and change little the first 6 months to a year. You can put your touch on things without changing things completely. As you probably have heard before, pick your battles. You also need to have a talk with the whole group and explain how everyone has their own talents and how some things will change and that they need to respect that. This can be a great teaching moment. I also found it helpful to form and really close relationships with a few of the teens and when they find out who you are they will support you and spread the word to others in the group. Sometimes the adults helping can be harmful and have a harder time with the change. If this is the case you need to talk to them individually and tell them you need their support and if they continue not to support you, you might need to ask them not to be part of the team. I have had to ask adults do this. It is not a fun conversation but in the end it was the best thing. In the end some will not be able to make the change and some kids will leave and their is nothing you can do about it. Keep praying, spend even more time in front of the Blessed Sacrament asking for guidance and patience and in the end things will work out. It takes time for wounds to heal and for people to except change.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Thanks Steve! I appreciate the suggestions. The desk is a mess inside, like it's thrown in there, but it's okay. I can make it work. Thanks for the advice I really appreciate it. I'll say a prayer for you.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Joe Anderson said...

Tell them Ryan left because they kept talking.

You're doing great, sis!

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently received the advice that if your foundation is not solid, your ministry will not be as effective. I hear your frustration of organizing your office and setting things up for your sanity; I think it is incredibly important in order for things to run smoothly. Make sure you are taking care of yourself so you can better take care of the youth. Good luck and God Bless!

6:31 PM  
Blogger simplyCrystal said...

I'm scared of being in a similar situation. My youth minister has chosen me to take over for him in the event he moves out of state. All these things keep running through my mind..What if I can't handle it? How will the teens take it? I don't know if I'm ready for this. How am I supposed to plate all of this responsibility? How do I balance LifeTeen, work, teens, parents, the Church, Core Team, family, school, and myself?
And then there's the loyalty to Anthony (our current youth minister)..What if the Core Team leaves (some have threatened that if Anthony goes, they go too)? I have overheard the teens say that they don't know if they'd keep going to LifeTeen if Anthony weren't there. What if I have to start the ministry all over? What do I do if everything falls apart if he leaves?
And then there's me. I've always turned to Anthony to vent, as questions, and seek advice. If everyone leaves, who do I turn to?
I think God led me to this blog because I've lost a significant amount of sleep over this for weeks now. Can you help?

12:36 AM  

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