It has happened more often than I care to relive.
It could be a spilled drink. A dropped slice of pizza. A text sent to the wrong person.
Those tiny, minuscule mistakes. The “Oopsy-daises”. The accidents. The “Uh-ohs”.
Regardless of what you call them, mistakes are a part of life. They will happen. It’s inevitable. I have yet to meet a person in my 34 years of living that hasn’t shut their finger in door or stubbed their toe at least once. In fact, I’ve done both within the last 24 hours.
But when it comes to Student Ministry, it’s easy to think that we’re the only ones that make those mistakes. That we are the only ones to have an event completely tank. That we are the only ones to forget to check the church van for gas before leaving on that 1 1/2 hour trip.
And so we let the old adage hold true in our ministry…
“We compare our blooper reels to someone else’s highlight reel”
And it’s usually not the mistake that is the problem. Most of the things we do are easily fixable. It’s the refusal to forgive ourselves. It’s the mental anguish we put ourselves through over something that was relatively minor.
It’s how we begin to belittle ourselves over that slip up. How we begin to allow ourselves to feel inadequate and unfit to be a leader. It’s how we refuse to allow ourselves to let it go.
All the while reading the social media posts about what other Student Ministries are doing.
Can I let you in on a secret?
You’re not seeing the whole picture on Social Media.
That Student Ministry that you have the “ministry crush” on may not be what it seems.
Social Media is not real life. Yes, that other group may have had a record breaking crowd and an altar call that lasted for hours, but think about it for a second…
When was the last time they posted about their students being disruptive in class?
When did they last post about a lack of commitment to Youth Service?
When did they post about a parent who was being an obnoxious punk?
I’m gonna guess never.
Social media can be one of our greatest assets and resources, while simultaneously being one of the most detrimental.
I’ve found encouragement and discouragement over the years through social media. I love to see what God is doing through the ministries of other groups in cities throughout the world. I love the testimonies. I love the highlights.
But social media can also provide an avenue for the comparison game.
That group had a big event, with a dynamic move of God, but our last youth service was a bust.
That group is engaging their schools through P7 clubs, our kids are disinterested.
That group is growing exponentially, our is maintaining.
And so we compare ourselves to a self-generated idea of what is happening elsewhere. And it’s ourselves that are caught in the crossfire. Imprisoned by our own inferiorities and insecurities.
We begin to think that the lack we’re experience is due to our deficiencies. That WE are the problem. That there even IS a problem in the first place.
We process what we see and compare it to our failures. We compare highlight reels to our blooper reals. We compare others “wins” to our “fails”.
And in the process, we lose our confidence. Our vision is robbed from us because we are so focused on what is happening in a group across the street or across the nation.
You are the one that God called to your church. To your city. To your Student Ministry.
It was Him who gave you the passion to lead. It was Him who gave you the burden for that group. It was Him who anointed you to lead those students. It was HIM who placed those students in your care.
You are not deficient. You are not second rate. You are not a liability.
You are a God-Called, God-Ordained voice in the lives of your students.
Success or failure. High or low. Good or bad. In seasons of numerical growth or seasons of spiritual growth. In times of crisis or times of peace.
You are called of God to lead your students.
And don’t you ever forget it!