Giving youth pastors the tools they need to make and shape disciples.

Just Because “IT” Failed, Doesn’t Make You A Failure

I heard these words very clearly as I as making a dish I had never made before for some guests we were having for dinner. I wasn’t thinking about the meal being a failure, I was thinking about a possible upcoming transition. 

Accepting failure is as important as celebrating success, maybe even more so The real key to accepting failure is to not let your failure become an identity. 

Many years ago I was fired from youth ministry job after only two years after taking that job after being fired from another youth ministry job. I was told I wasn’t the right fit. I said, with tears in my eyes, “Just another failure”.  

I wasn’t embracing my failure, I was mentally tattooing the word failure on my soul. Branding myself failure for all time. F was my scarlet letter. 

It wasn’t until I was tossing the pasta and cubing chicken did I feel that scarlet letter leave me.

Dumping my garlic and basil leaves into a hot pan I thought, “Things fail all the time.” Businesses, projects, even marriages but people live another day to try again. 

Failure is normal whether you’re trying something new like cooking a meal you’ve never tried or resurrecting something old like a team with a losing record. There will always be a risk of failure 

The key to ditching the label of failure is to embrace failure as a lesson not a lifestyle. 

You’re going to fail in youth ministry, but that does not make you a failure.

  • The outreach is going to bomb
  • Your going to be over budget
  • The meeting isn’t going to go well
  • You’re going to make a parent mad

This is your journey within a journey. You are growing as you grow students.

If you’re trying, you’re failing and that’s a good thing. 

Failing makes you stronger, wiser and more resilient. 

If you’re failing at something because it’s a new thing for you, cool. You’re learning. 

If you’re failing at a job, maybe it’s because it’s not your passion any more. 

Resist the label of failure. You are not a failure. God does not make failures.

Don’t be shocked, but you’re a human who fails. You were born failing and in need of God, as we all were.

That new dish I was cooking was not a failure, it was delicious. 

Cooking this new meal had a risk of failure, but so does everything else in life. 

Take more risks and you’ll eventually taste something delicious.

If 2022 was a rough year for you, maybe it’s time to get coaching. One of my favorite quotes is,

“If you continue to do what you have always done, you will alway have what you’ve always had”.

You’ve tried figuring this thing out yourself for so long you’re driving yourself crazy.

Try something new in 2023. Sit me with me and let me help you work through

  • A mindset of success and failure
  • A plan for successful programming
  • How to organize your youth ministry calendar
  • How to build a team

And anything else you want to talk about.

Check out my Ministry Minded three month coaching here.

Related Posts

Meditating On God’s Word

If you’re thinking that meditating for Christians is a bad thing, allow me to convince you otherwise. Christian meditation, has nothing to do with sitting on the floor with you legs crossed humming “ohm” as eastern meditation practitioners do. Think...

read more

Silence, Stillness and Surrender Before God

Silence has a powerful effect and it may be why it’s often used in movies rather than noise. Let’s consider a few movies, taken from the list at Listerverse, that use silence effectively. Contact The movie Contact, about making contact with aliens or them...

read more

Private Practices, Public Power

When I was younger, I could not see the correlation between privacy and power; I thought I would have all the energy and wisdom I needed when I needed it. I wasn’t until I got a little older, mostly through failure, that I took my private time, and what I did...

read more