The other day a friend asked me for the best piece of advice I could give someone going into youth ministry.
Her daughter was about to begin an internship with a ministry program so she reached out to an expert in the field. Haha just kidding she asked me.
Seriously though – I was honored she thought to ask me such a question. So I racked my brain for something profound and insightful and deeply spiritual to write back to her. Everything I typed up sounded recycled from someone smarter than myself.
Finally, I just shot off the 3 best words I could think of:
Keep showing up.
I think essentially that’s what youth ministry really boils down to anyway.
You can come up with all sorts of incredible programs and games and camp activities and skits. You can craft the most engaging lessons and bible studies.
Ultimately it all comes back to continually showing up in the lives of students.
The battles in youth ministry are won in the times devoted pastors show up day after day in the lunchrooms, the parking lots, the auditoriums, the stadiums, the movie theaters and the skating rinks.
Rarely is a student’s life ever impacted by anything other than someone showing up time and time again to earn the right to be heard.
This is never easy. Teenagers are fickle and frustrating. They will break your heart. Repeatedly.
But you have to keep showing up even when it feels pointless. Because what you’re doing matters whether you see it or not.
I think the same advice applies for just about any aspect of life you want to be successful in.
I know I’ve found it to be true with writing this blog. Over the past 2 years my one goal has been to just keep showing up.
There are many days when I don’t want to write. The urge to throw in the towel is always present.
Writing can be a maddening muse, especially in the blogging world where you get up-to-the-minute updates on just how successful (and more often unsuccessful) your writing is.
But I’m not in control of the numbers. All I can do is show up to the desk each day, pick up the pen and write. After that it’s out of my hands.
I believe God gives us our passions for a purpose. If there is something you are passionate about, keep showing up. No matter how hard it is. No matter how frustrated it makes you. No matter how little success you see in it today.
If it makes you come alive at all then it’s worth doing.
Instead of focusing on success and failure in the moment, believe there is something greater to come.
Keep showing up.
Thanks to everyone who has kept showing up in my life to support me and especially to support my writing. It means everything.
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