Many of the things surrounding Catholic Youth Ministry today could be considered unfair.
It’s unfair that we are trying to reach out to teens in a culture that is at times openly anti – Catholic.
It’s unfair that Catholic youth ministry has to compete more and more with some schools for teens time even on Sunday.
It’s also unfair that some parish councils judge the success of youth ministry by numbers alone.
Totally unfair that the youth minister who is ending an event and closing the Church up at 11 PM is expected by other parish staff to be in the office by 9 AM the next morning.
It’s again unfair that the youth leader is seen as the one solely responsible at a parish for reaching out to teens, as if the rest of the parish had no responsibilty.
Unfair that a few parents of teens don’t support the teachings of the Church and contradict the catechesis that Catholic youth ministry is providing to their teens.
So unfair that teens who don’t dress appropriately or who have a tatoo are often viewed as scary or not the type of teens some adults don’t want coming to their parish.
Sound like I’m whining? No way because it’s also unfair that in Catholic youth ministry:
One of the privileged main roles of a Catholic youth minister is to hang out with amazing teenagers. How many of your college classmates can say that?
Unfair that we get to serve in building where the Blessed Sacrament is usually present every day. How awesome is that?
So unfair that Catholic youth leaders get to go on religious pilgrimages, youth conferences, mission trips and ski trips with teens, mostly all funded by their parish and all as a part of our job. Many times getting free t-shirts in the deal!
Unfair that while other people we graduated high school with hath to wear a tie everyday – we get to dress casual most days.
So unfair that having a vibrant prayer life is not a bonus, but an essential part of our job.
So the next time you start to feeling the smallest part burdened by the role you have been called to in Catholic youth ministry, take a minute to think about all the amazing parts of the ministry you actually get to do and start to count your blessings!