6.19.2007

Guilt

At the Pastor Parish Relations Committee tonight, I learned that there is a family that is thinking about leaving the church. It was hinted at and alluded to without any concrete details -- except that this family's frustation is mostly about youth ministry. And you might remember, this is not my passion. I have such mixed feelings about this area of ministry and really don't want to be the cheerleader that I feel guilted into being.

So, now, I feel more guilty. I feel more awful that I'm not doing what is expected of me. I'm honoring myself and what I feel called to do. But, I feel terribly and awfully guilty. And there might be a family leaving the church because of it. Sigh.

5 comments:

Backwoods Rev said...

I really enjoy your blog- and love the collar- and I just couldn't keep silent-

They are not leaving because of you. They would have found another reason to leave- it's just convient to blame you. If they want good youth ministry programs, they can step up, and start them. Too often in our culture today we believe we have the right to have all our needs served and we neve are encouraged to develop our own answers:
Say to them what Ghandi first did:
Be the change you want to see in the world.

You are doing a great joy- don't let them define your call from God.
Peace to you.

more cows than people said...

it still hurts when people leave the church. and they almost always do so blaming me. and it almost never is really about me. maybe it never is. i don't know- it's hard to remember this. my first experience of people leaving though- IT WAS HELL!

i'm sending you MUCH love. are you an associate? i haven't been sure. if so, is your colleague helpful in giving you perspective at tough times? i need a circle of colleagues to help me with that- unfortunately i don't have any in town, but... time and the web have helped!

hang in there. you're doing good ministry, faithful ministry, and all shall be well.

Pastor Peters said...

Aw. Backwoods Rev you made me brim up with tears. Thank you. I needed to hear that. From both of you. This is my first experience with this issue -- as I'm an associate in my first call.

MoreCows, your question about colleagues is the hard part. I can't imagine how you do it. I may have to call my friend Songbird for a coffee after Synod this weekend. She's a good listener.

Gene said...

Has anyone talked to this family?

Your dedication to serve in your own capacity is commendable. Too often people under 35 are expected to be involved in youth ministry, just because they're closer to youth than other people. It's a misguided approach that burns people out when they could be doing something that brings them joy. Jebus, I've totally been in that situation with our last youth minister and pretty much hated it. I think he did too and ended up leaving our church over it.

Do what brings you joy. You're the only one that has to put in your time. Best of luck.

Songbird said...

I'm here when you want me.