Thursday, August 25, 2011

U is for Unspoken

In life we have a tendency to take things for granted.  We expect people to do certain things and act certain ways and we often don’t thank them properly when they do it.  Often we get caught up in life and just don’t take the time to really think about everything that is done for us.  I know that working in youth ministry can be thankless.  Sometimes our youth seem to not care what we are doing for them or the hours upon hours of time we dedicate to them.  We plan programs, we take them to lunch and dinner, we pick them up for events, we give up our weekends to be with them, we attend their sporting events and concerts, we take them on mission trips, we go to the amusement park, and we plan meaningful worship and Spiritual growth for them.  How many times do you get a thank you?  Do you feel taken for granted?
I believe that the gratitude for everything we do for our youth is unspoken.   I think there are other ways that our youth share with us than just saying thank you.  I often receive hugs from my youth.  When they first get there they hug me and say hey and talk about their week.  The unspoken hug goes a long way.  It warms my heart and I know I am making a difference because they are glad to see me.  It is not everyday that a youth will give you a hug.  That is called unspoken love.
Whenever I try a new event or program, a large majority of our youth group show up for it.  This is unspoken trust.  My youth trust me that I will provide a fun, entertaining, spiritually centered program and they want to be there to support me and youth program.  This is tremendous.  It shows that you have built a level of trust with them and they are going to be a part of the programs you want to run. 
I have a core group of youth that make youth group a priority in their lives.  They are at everything we do.  It is so wonderful to know that there will always be youth that come to events and programs.  I am sure you have them, no matter what you are doing, setting up chairs in the gym, hiding Easter eggs for the children, or going to Busch Gardens, that group of youth are there to support the program.  That is unspoken loyalty.
The world has moved into a new era, facebook, email, and twitter are the main ways to communicate with youth these days.  Often I put out emails, or facebook messages.  I always get answers back from youth.  Sometimes, without even prompting it, I get facebook messages or wall posts just to see how I am doing.  They often like things I put on my page.  It is the way that they communicate.  It’s called unspoken communication.
 Sure, I sometimes get a thank you from my youth, but I will take the unspoken communication, trust, loyalty, and love that I get from them over a thank you any day.  I know I am not being taken for granted because they want to be a part of our youth program and are there to prove it.  Besides, it’s not about me.  It’s about them building a loving, honest, open, and loving relationship with Jesus Christ.  That is what I want them to speak about, and loudly at that.  There is nothing unspoken about their relationship with Jesus.

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