In the nest few weeks I am going to have to do one of the hardest things a youth minister can do, and that say goodbye to the kids, to let them know I will not be back next year.
As a youth minister one of the first lessons you need to learn is when to let go, and let me tell you that is a hard lesson to learn. I have only been at 2 parishes, one for 15 years and the for 4 years, and leaving both has been hard, but to leave this one is a little harder. You would think it would have been harder to leave the first parish, i was there for 25 years, but in truth, the dynamics had changed so much that it seemed like a natural thing to do, plus I had a new parish to go to, and new and exciting things to do. This parish, the dynamics haven changed at all, and that is one of the major factors in me leaving, but the youth of this parish are fantastic, and I will miss them very much. This is the hard part, letting go of the youth.
I still have to inform all the teachers and parents, that will be hard, but not as hard as the kids. I have grown to thinking of them as my kids, I work with them for 3 years, middle school youth ministry, and I have seen them grow up. The change between when they enter as a 6th grader to when they leave me as a 8th grader is tremendous, and a marvel to watch. So in away, when I say good bye, I am saying good bye to my kids, and no parent ever wants to do that. But like a good parent, I know when it’s time for me to let them go.
So pray for me as I try to figure it all out…