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By Alana Harrington

Kids and Student Pastor, Bethany Wesleyan Church

If this is your first day, week, or month in youth ministry, let me be the first to say - Welcome to the club! You are entering into a lifetime of adventure. If this isn't your first day but rather your one-millionth, let me encourage you - keep going! Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself, this word is for you.

Along this journey we call youth ministry there will be days filled with heartache and pain, and there will be days filled with unspeakable joy. Days filled with paperwork and lesson planning, and days filled with paint wars and pumpkin launching. Days when you're not sure how much longer you can keep going, and days when you can't imagine yourself doing anything else.


When the moments of discouragement come - and believe me, they will come - I want to encourage you to meditate on these words from the Apostle Paul in Romans 12, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." There is so much to meditate on in this passage, but I particularly want to camp out on the second half of verse nine, "hate what is evil, cling to what is good."


There may be plenty of situations that feel manipulated by evil. Moments will come when you feel like you're in for the fight of your life and you're staring the enemy in the face. Times when you question whether or not you're even making a difference. But there will also be many, many things worth clinging to on those difficult days: the first conversation with a student who hasn't opened up in weeks, encouragement from a parent who you thought was not your fan, the moment a student, who swore that they would never believe in Jesus, opens their life to the Savior of their soul. "Hate what is evil, cling to what is good."


There will be lots of things you might call evil, but, because of God and His ability to use all things for our benefit, there will be even more things you will be able to call good. Cling to those things. It won't always be easy- in fact there will be days when it feels downright impossible. But it will be worth it every time and it will help you journey through.


So again, I say - Welcome to the club, this wonderful adventure we call youth ministry. It's messy, it's crazy, it's hard work, but the view is worth the journey.



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