Graduations and Transitions and the Bittersweet nature of it all

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It’s that time of the year again. The fateful season of graduations and farewells and transitions and the beautiful, but bittersweet reality of moving on. It’s the same dynamic every year, and yet it continuously catches me by surprise. Transitions are never easy, but they are a vital part of life.

In youth ministry, we simultaneously celebrate and mourn during graduation season. As hard as it is to say goodbye, we also celebrate the reality that the future is here and it’s time to embrace it.

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Pace and Sustainable Youth Ministry

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We all have a workload threshold. Even the most focused down-to-business-type-A-workaholics out there have a point of exhaustion. The pace at which we operate in life, and especially in youth ministry, matters a ton. Burn out helps no one, and it is our responsibility to preserve our health.

Sustainability is a good thing. Ultimately, the pace of our lives and ministries are up to us to structure and maintain. The question is how do we do this? How do we maintain a sustainable pace in ministry?

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Realistic Expectations

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Expectations. We all have them. At times, they can be a point of focus, a perennial north star guiding us into the future. And those other times? Well, they can be a major source of pain and frustration. This is especially true when people place expectations on us.

I’ve noticed this often occurs in the lives of young people. Deliberate or not, we tend to place unrealistic expectations on them. This is partly due to a desire to see them succeed and live healthy, full lives. Another part, though, is due to a misunderstanding we have when working with young people.

We’ve forgotten to let young people be… young people.

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