First, big thanks to Amy Landino for this simple tweet that pushed me to finally write this post,

That’s the question isn’t it? We’ll never know until we try. I left my youth ministry job of eight year last year and it’s coming up on my one year anniversary. Time to reflect.

I had a great job. I could have stayed as long as I wanted, but something was stirring inside of me. I couldn’t shake it. But being a youth pastor was my dream job. It’s all I ever wanted to be since I was 17. Then I wanted a career in youth ministry. Thirty years later, dream fulfilled.

My goal was and still is to make my full time living training, equipping, and coaching youth workers to make lifetime followers of Jesus. Was it worth it?

I can’t say, yet. Give me another year. I don’t regret leaving my job, my time was done. I loved those kids, but I knew we both needed something different for each of us to grow to our full potential. Quitting was really my only option to know if my bigger dreams could become real.

My goal is certainly worthy, but was it worth quitting for?

Is it worth substitute teaching?

Is it worth delivering food?

Is it worth painting houses?

If you don’t like visceral emotions, you should look away.

Is it worth the loneliness?

Is it worth being broke?

Is it worth living by faith?

Is it worth being angry?

Is it worth the stress?

These are facts. This is the price of having goals. This is why most people, in any field, won’t attempt what I’ve attempted. One year later, some, including myself on some days, will tell you “No, it wasn’t worth it” Too much struggle, too much heartache. But what’s the alternative? Go back to easy?

Is it hard? Yep, but it was equally hard to stay where I was not doing what I felt like I was supposed to do. I had outgrown my first dream and needed a another dream to grown into.

It’s possible that I will not know if it was worth it until I get to heaven. All I know is that I still believe

  • youth workers need honest voices, good resources, and helpful coaching to make disciples and not just converts.
  • churches still need voices to share hope about the generation to come and their part in raising them up
  • youth ministry teams still need training in excellence
  • youth groups still need to be challenged to stop meeting so much and do the work of the gospel.
  • books that do not exist need to be written (by me)
  • videos need to be made to equip volunteer, bi-vocational youth worker who will never go to a conference

Was it worth it? Maybe that’s the wrong question. Maybe the question I am asking is, “Are you worth it?” Time will tell, but I’m giving it my best shot to make it all worth it.

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