By Caitlin Bootsma
Consultant to the VIRTUS® Programs
It happens to all of us. Can you recall the last time you felt like “throwing in the towel” after a particularly rough day of work or ministry? Perhaps you felt like you weren’t getting through; maybe there were a lot of behavioral problems; or maybe your to-do list seemed too long to fit in ministry to youth.
There are certainly times when taking a break from a particular ministry or leaving it altogether are the right decision. But then there are other times when all we need is to remind ourselves why we work with youth in the first place.
Here a just a few reminders.
- You make an everlasting impact on their lives: Adult mentors are a crucial part of children’s lives as they grow and mature. Not only can you be a positive influence on a human level, you are also witnessing to them about holiness through example and guidance. Your influence could very well be a factor not only in them having a good life on earth, but also in spending eternal life in heaven.
- You are giving thanks to God through your service: Mother Theresa once said to “pray without ceasing”; that is to pray through everything you do. When you give your time to children, you can offer it up as a prayer of thanksgiving to God for all that He has done for you.
- You are making use of your God-given gifts and talents: Whether you are a gifted teacher, artistically talented or great at mentoring youth, God gave you specific gifts that He is asking you to use for good. By serving youth with your individual talents, you are making a contribution that no one else can make because it is the fruit of your natural gifts.
- Often, you will grow in your faith as a result of your service. Whether you are struck by children’s whole-hearted faith in God; learn something new about the faith as you prepare to teach others; or simply learn the joys of sacrifice and service, ministry to youth can be a very important part of your faith journey. If you think God is calling you to spend some of your time in this way, you can be sure that your relationship will be strengthened with Him through it.