You will never arrive.
I know that thought might be frustrating to you. Week after week, year after year, you’re headed toward some goal, and it is a goal you will never reach. In our calling, you’ll never reach the finish line. Here’s what I mean:
You put together the best 5-year plan ever created. You put into action a strategy to build your ministry on the eternal purposes of God. You had a moment where God showed you where you should lead your group. So you write it out, you take the first steps. You gain some momentum. Things are going great.
In fact, you’re moving from what started as a dream into seeing it actually happen in your ministry. Lives are being changed. It is going better than you ever dared to dream it might. You’re close to the goal. You can see the finish line.
Then … you realize that the area of your ministry that was so strong last year was starting to drift away from the original vision. What worked like crazy two years ago has plateaued. You lose a key volunteer. Apathy sets in, or spiritual dryness becomes commonplace. The amazing group of seniors graduated and the batch of incoming freshman are … well, freshman.
You may get closer to the goal, but you’ll never really get there. You’re not supposed to. You need to be OK with that fact. Youth ministry is about seasons of success, seasons of failure, busy seasons and busier seasons. Youth ministry is good, bad and ugly all wrapped into one. You will never arrive – God’s church and your leadership will always be a work in progress.
So wherever you are today in this cycle of never quite arriving – setting goals, almost reaching your goals, evaluating where you are at or completely starting over – celebrate! Celebrate that God wants you as part of the process and His church. Celebrate that God wants to use you to reboot, retool, relaunch or redo something.
It all keeps you humble, and those are the best youth ministry leaders. Leaders that never arrive.