Halloween hit a Thursday this year. I know that’s not a shocker to anyone who looks at a calendar. It was difficult for me because it conflicted with our high school program. I remember dealing with the disappointment when teens and adult volunteers chose to go trick or treating over attending the youth program. I was bitter; however, I did my best not to show it.
Maybe your disappointment comes when teens do not show up. Maybe it comes from a disruptive group of students. Maybe it is when you put out an ask for parent’s to get involved and no one inquires. Disappointment is around us in youth ministry because no one is perfect. You can let it control your life and continue to be upset or you face it by:
- Not Complaining: No one likes a whiner. If you are disappointed, then complaining will only worsen the situation. While venting is good, complaining can turn into gossip, which is never good. Find an outlet to constructively breakdown your emotions. Just do not let it get carried away.
- Determine It’s Source: Your disappointment could come from a person or a system. No matter what it is, you need to understand the context in which the situation or relationship occurred. If you can determine the source you can not only figure out how to address it, but possibly eliminate future obstacles.
- Find The Silver Lining: While you do not want to complain you do want to find reasons to praise God. When your leaders are being tough on themselves or you need a pick me up, look for what went right. In fact find time to celebrate the wins and achievements you have with the students. While it’s important to be realistic, it’s also good to dream.
- Keep Moving Forward: Disappointment can hold you still in your ministry. Youth ministry like the church is meant to be a movement and not a monument. If you dwell in the sadness of what you do, you might be in the wrong position.
You will build confidence and grow stronger as a leader if you are willing to face disappointment. It’s about recognizing that not everyone is perfect and that you are not always in control. If anything how you deal with disappointment will impact the relationship you have with God. And, when teenagers see you relying on God, they’ll trust Him too.
How do you deal with disappointment?