Just recently, I attended a Youth Camp. Actually, it was from May 19-22. However, because of some last minute changes on who will join me accompany on my travel, I went to the camp site at May 20.
In my 3 days and 2 nights stay there, one truth struck me: this camp is no longer my generation. Putting it bluntly, I’m not as young as I used to be. Yes, I hear it everywhere. “28 years old is still young”. Yes, it’s young, but quite not that young (an understatement maybe) to be in the Youth ministry as a youth leader.
I miss the times that I used to be a youth leader. Too bad I am no longer a youth leader when our very own Baptist Youth Camp was finally held outside our church (and in one of the best Baptist Camp sites). I was supposed to be there, helping these guys and gals out. I was supposed to be there delegating, shouting the cheering, sharing my ideas straight from my heart. Oh well, what can we do? We’re suspended, and I don’t even know if I’ll be youth leader next year (suspension is until December 31, 2009, but being reappointed as youth leader is an entirely new process). No, it’s not about bossing around. No, it’s not about the position. It’s because I like serving God in the youth ministry. Not only that, being a youth leader gives you a voice what you really want to say (if you take this one negatively, it shows immaturity). I strongly believe that youth members, who will eventually become youth leaders, will be dictated by what they have seen from their youth leader, be it good or bad. For example, you have a youth leader whose style you don’t like. Eventually, once you become a youth leader, you’ll see to it (intentional or unintentional/”subliminal”) that your members will not do the practice similar to your former leader (i.e., shouting a loud AMEN, telling dry jokes). This is only a theoretical example: a shy [or “shy effect” or false humility], new batch of youngsters is a by product of current youth leaders who don’t like their former leaders who “act like Robin Williams in his comedic roles”. I believe that this is a constant, even if you say loudly that you’re an open minded leader.
Before I go farther from this post’s intended theme, let me just tell you what this post is all about: I was blessed and I enjoyed the Baptist Youth Camp. The leaders did a good job. Still, my happiness is not complete. I miss being a youth leader. I want to lead [not boss around]. Serving God in the youth ministry is fulfilling. After all, being in the center of the will of God will give a believer peace of mind even if in the midst of trials. However, because I’m still serving my sentence, it’s not possible. I even don’t know if the chance to lead even for one last year next year is possible. After all, it is Pastor’s prerogative [through the Youth Director’s suggestion, which is made by consensus of youth officers and leaders].
I pray that I will be given a chance to be a youth leader again next year. Yes, my one last shot of one or two years of youth leadership. If I made it again next year, it means I’m ready. If not, I’ll just resign myself that I already lost the chance to ever lead youngsters again. For the mean time, I’ll just put my focus and energy on what matters for now: keeping myself back in tune spiritually, involving myself in soul winning and Bible study.