I’ve done youth ministry in the past, but this time is different. I’m more calm. I think I’m connecting well. I’m less anxious about week to week lessons than I was in the past. Why? What’s different this time?
The difference is me. I mean, the difference lays where my focus is. In the past I would get discouraged easily. I always had a fear that no one would show up. I was afraid that they would think I was a dorky leader. I feared that I would sit alone to am empty room. In sum: it was all about me. If the group was big it made me feel good and made my time feel worth-while spent. If the group was small I wondered why even both. I’d get discouraged and even quit.
The advice my friend gave me has functioned like a gestalt switch. Rather than think: What will I say to get through this week? The question I’m now asking is, how can I change the way these kids see the world? The first question is about me getting through another week. The second question is about transforming their lives so that they can in turn transform their worlds. The first question focuses on this little tree or that little tree. The second takes a birds-eye view of the forrest while also looking off into the horizon.