Those days happen in ministry…

So this month marks the completion of my 8th year as a girls minister at Brentwood Baptist. Within those years I’ve learned so much. I’m planning on doing a post just on some of the things I’ve learned over the last 8 years. But regardless of the years or the classes I’ve taken, I’m still sometimes taken aback by girls in various situations. Sometimes I’m caught off guard in a positive way, sometimes in a negative way. Sometimes it’s the perfect storm and their unstable emotions collide with my high expectations for them to act my age…
So in an attempt to offer a real glimpse into girls ministry, I’ll share a perfect storm moment from the other day.
We have seen over the years that our saturday recreation event:Gender specific Flag football, has exploded in popularity. I think people start putting together their teams as soon as our Fall retreat ends to begin preparing for the next year. Ironically, this fall retreat recreation option was the brainchild of myself and our then intern Brian who now is our student pastor at our Station Hill campus. It truly is a fun event, but I no longer coach as my involvement was causing teams of girls to not see me as a girls minister but as the coach of the team that they lost to. So this has been the 5th year I have not coached. Other than coaching, there has been this unofficial t-shirt making frenzy that has evolved. Girls now bring t-shirts to their small groups to decorate them for their Football team. It’s a great fellowship idea but…
I was subbing this past Wednesday and stepped into a group that has already gotten the t-shirts and glitter paint out. They were determining what their t-shirt numbers would be. I was getting ready for them to begin their lesson. I told them that we would do the lesson and then spend the last half decorating shirts. They agreed. It wasn’t until the middle of my lesson that I discovered they were still secretly using hand signals to communicate who would be what number, and some girls were secretly painting their shirts behind me. Now these girls and I know each other. I love them. BUT I lost it! I wanted them to crave the lesson which was on hiding God’s word in your heart. I had gone to the trouble of getting special verses for each one to begin to memorize this week. I was so disappointed. Why didn’t they value biblestudy and pick an alternative time to do their girl fellowship? Why didn’t they recognize that this was the purpose of the evening?
We ended our lesson with prayer that was requested by one of the girls.  There were good things that happened outside of the group, but my hopes for that lesson were dashed. I couldn’t help but laugh when another group of girls ran up so proud to show me their “cupcake” football tshirts. So other groups were doing this too. Awesome! (note heavy sarcasm)

So here’s my take-away…The girls were pouring every ounce of their energy into making those beautiful t-shirts that they were missing out of hearing from God’s word.  I wonder for myself what’s my distraction that I am pouring all of my attention to, that is causing me to miss out on hearing something from God’s word?

The other thing I thought of is that next year I’m making a t-shirt decorating event for students to get their shirts designed so that it won’t take up the time allotted for bible study. 🙂
Those are my thoughts…and those kind of things happen.

What about you?

I know the above story may seem like a pretty tame day to you.  It’s definitely not the worst day in ministry…but it was just a frustrating day in ministry.  So what about you?  What middle-of-the-road experience have you had lately that just honestly frustrated you, but God allowed you to see something about yourself…or gave you an idea…or maybe it’s still to be seen what could happen from the story?  Share below.  It’d be good to know I’m not alone in having these kind of ministry days.

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2 thoughts on “Those days happen in ministry…

  1. I understand your frustration. I look forward to my Chinese class everyday. I love it so much I can’t understand the students in my class that complain all the time about it. They complain about the homework, they complain about tests, and they complain about classroom activities. It drives me CRAZY! They are so busy complaining they miss the lesson; they don’t learn anything. That is why you were so frustrated. You were excited about your lesson, so you couldn’t quite understand how everyone else wasn’t. Hang in there, eventually their interests will come back around.