Earlier today, I was working on my advanced youth ministry class, and I could not focus. If you know me at all, that probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to you. But I could tell something was holding me back. To be honest, it’s like I was afraid to write my paper.
A graduate paper is the culmination of what you’ve learned in a class. So what have I learned? By writing this paper for advanced youth ministry, I am proving that I know what I’m talking about. As the syllabus states, that I have deepened my understanding of, and broadened my praxis of, ministry-leadership in the context (and as the director of) a church youth camp summer experience.
There’s a part of me that doesn’t want that responsibility. What if I don’t know what I’m talking about? What if I still don’t know anything, even after all these classes and homework and studying and exegetical analyses? What if I can’t lead volunteers? What if I don’t relate to students?
What if I forget everything I teach students at camp? Like I’m doing right now…
I tend to forget why I’m called to ministry. You’d think being in seminary for over two years would constantly remind me, but as with anything, it’s easy to get caught in the motions of a day-to-day routine. But what do I teach over and over again to students? God wants nothing more in the entire universe than to have a relationship with you. There will be definitely be challenges in life, and questions will come up and we’ll wonder where God is. But God has promised that he will never leave us, and he will guide us through life if we let him.
It’s time for me to stop worrying about the “what ifs?” and start practicing what I preach by using the gifts God has given me.