We had a great YPA gathering this month! It was amazing to be back together after taking the summer off. I cannot describe how uplifting it is to be together with the community! We spent the time sharing stories of how we witnessed God working this summer, one by one we shared great stories of how we saw God at work in our teens, through our teens, and even in us. They were all amazing storied, but there was one story that got me thinking...
The story was about how she was invited to go on a mission trip with some people from her church, and although there were youth on the trip, she was not really expected to lead in any way; and they were paying for her to go.
Through the trip she was able to experience again what it is like to go on a mission trip and experience God at work, without needing to worry about the next thing or what that kid is doing over there.
She described it as a truly refreshing and refueling. She then described, how many of us feel, that it seems like she was always giving...giving...giving, and never being pour into herself, and she looked up and said to the group of youth ministers: "Do you every feel like that? Where you are always pouring out and no one is pouring into you?"
And you could see on everyone's face, including my own, that we all felt that way in one way or another.
It does seem like we find ourselves in this place more often than not, if we are honest. As ministers, too often we find that no one is there or even thinks of ministering to us. And we know that it is not just some devotional that is going to fill us.
For me, at each church I have been at as a youth pastor, I have always found a family or two who recognizes this and in their own way pours into our life and is there for us, without trying to push an agenda. And second, it is relationships with peers, fellow youth pastors, those in the same boat, that I also find refueling in. It is these relationships that you can find refueling, rest, and God.
May you find these kind of relationships in your context, so that you may find rest...