It was about 5:30 a.m. and I was in the middle of my morning prayer. The sun had yet to rise. The coffee was hot and the house, serene. Just then, in the middle of my prayer, apprehension gripped my body and shattered my peace. “Oh crap…it’s bulk trash pickup today!” I sprang up from the couch in our prayer room, threw on some warm clothes and within minutes found myself in my back yard. The sun was peeking over the wall and the sound of the city garbage truck echoed through the neighborhood.
Right at this moment, stop and rate your youth ministry program on a scale of 1-10. What rating did you give? Better yet, why did you give the ministry that ranking? When we evaluate our ministries, there are several factors that we use to judge its “successfulness.” Often the number of teens, or the amount of compliments (or complaints), or the supportiveness of the pastor and parish are keys factors – but should they be? “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). Maybe it is time to take a different approach in evaluating youth ministry at your parish. Maybe it is time to ask how God sees our efforts in leading teens closer to Christ and how effective we are in His eyes. In the end, it is not about numbers or compliments or complaints – it is about faithfulness to the call God has placed on our hearts.