Too often I hear youth workers say something like, “I love my youth group, but I wouldn’t go to church here if it wasn’t my job.” I honestly understand this sentiment, and realize that most of the time it is just a season of frustration with the style or leadership in a given period of time. But sometimes it isn’t a light statement, it is actually very serious. And if you find yourself in this situation, I think you’ve only got about three choices:
Get on board
I’d start with you – maybe you need a change of heart. Have some dialogue with the powers that be in your church to better understand the context of their decisions and choices. Perhaps you are frustrated out of ignorance and a little more knowledge will help you get a bigger picture of what they are trying to accomplish. Style preferences are unavoidable, some things you just have to learn to live with. You’ll never lose with humility so it is a good place to start.
Lead the change
Different opinions and outside perspective can be healthy to a church – being divisive behind the scenes certainly isn’t. If you’re frustrated with your church to the point you may even reconsider serving there, be a part of the solution and not the problem. Maybe you stepping up is exactly what the church needs to help them in a time of transition. Help lead the change.
This one isn’t to be taken lightly, but perhaps literally. If you wouldn’t attend the church you are the youth worker at and have no desire to lead them into a time of transition – get out. Don’t take a paycheck from the church, tithe money, if you aren’t all in. Remember a period of frustration isn’t worth leaving over, if youth workers did that our tenure would be even worse. But if there’s no hope and you’ve done all you can, it might be time to ask God what is next.
What do you think? Open to discussion/objections in the comments. Fire away!