I Quit... Almost (by Chris Harkins)
This story comes to us from Chris Harkins, it was originally posted on his Blog: "More than this World".
This week was an incredible time of learning, worshiping and spending time with some 3000 like minded youth leaders...or as I refer to them...family. It was also a time of extreme doubt, discouragement, and despair. Questions raced through my mind... Is a shepherd with out a flock still a shepherd? Is God done with me in youth ministry. Was my identity rooted in youth ministry, and if so, who am I now?
Listening to some incredible speakers really got me thinking. Am I done with youth ministry, more over, is youth ministry done with me? I found myself filled with doubt, I began to break, and started to believe the lies. Its over...
If I had been alone, this story might be finished here...but I wasn't, and its not!
See I belong to a family of other youth leaders, and I didn't have to go through this alone.
I immediately sent a Tweet to my dear friend Andy Disher. Andy found me among the 3000 worshiping youth leaders, and pulled me outside. We sat and talked, cried, and prayed together. Andy walked with me through the valley. He helped me remember my identity is not in ministry, it is in a God who is not finished with me yet.That I am a shepherd, that is just between flocks. That there is a family that believes in me, and is willing to come alongside of me.
I cant tell you how grateful I am for the community of youth leaders that I have been blessed with. Or how grateful I am for a Canadian named Andy. What I can tell you is this. If you are a youth leader, you need to be a part of a community outside of your church. A community that bleeds for what you bleed. That loves God and students as much as you do. A community like the Simply Youth Ministry Family.
There is always room for more...Don't go through the valleys alone.
I am Gods Beloved, and He is not finished with me yet!
In his own words Chris is: Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Youth Pastor, Mentor, Friend, and Wanna Be Blogger.
I love this story. I want to thank Chris for allowing us to share his story. Forming a network of youth pastors and workers who can encourage each other is very important. YouthStory is designed for this very reason.