10/2/12

Do you have female friends in youth ministry?

     I am blessed to have a couple of youth ministry friends I get to hang out with. Somehow, unbeknownst to me, God orchestrated our lives to overlap on multiple levels. Little did I know what friendship and professional support was waiting for me here in my friendship with these wonderful women. First of all, we are all in youth ministry, specifically middle school ministry.  We all disappointed our parents and chose youth ministry as our careers. Second, we are all female in youth ministry. Yes, we wear makeup, require large amounts of chocolate, carbs, and girl time. Third, our kids all go to the same charter school. We high five each other in the carpool line. This is a school with a long waiting list and a lottery to get in and here we all are. Together.  When you thought our lives could not have more in common, we all had babies within 3 months of each other. No we did not plan that, but cool, huh?

     Do you have female friends in youth ministry to hang out with? If not, you need to pray and ask God to bring you some. Every female in youth ministry needs the friendship, support and understanding of the rare few who do what you do. We have lives that are full and overflowing from babies waking us up at dawn to late nights working on youth talks. We all have kids with homework, a full time focus on youth ministry, and everyday responsibilities like dinner, dishes, bath time and husbands to love and feed. I need time with women who understand all that I am juggling. I need friends who know what it's like to be female in the very male world of professional ministry.  I need friends who listen to my fears and insecurities and the very real struggles of being female in youth ministry.  We as women in youth ministry need a safe and understanding place to share all the things you can't blog about, or talk to church friends about because "I work here." These ladies are my life line on days when I hit bottom and begin searching www.churchstaffing.com because you know, the grass is always greener on the other side.

     I need these friends in my life, and they need me. As a woman in youth ministry, I hope you take time to seek out these friendships. Look for them, pray for them, beg God for them. I bet God will wow your socks off with what he has in mind for you. Deep, lasting friendships with women can be complicated and messy, but don't give up on the gift of friendship.  My friendships with these women blossomed at a time when I was healing from a friendship that casually faded due to me moving and changing ministry jobs.  I was discouraged the friendship wasn't as strong as I thought it was. I was feeling youth ministry friendless. I have another good female youth ministry friend clear across the country.  Her faithfulness to our friendship has been absolutely amazing. I was longing for strong friendships with women in youth ministry who lived locally. I still needed someone I could meet at Starbucks and speak candidly with. Then these women, all ladies I've known to some degree or another over the years, re-entered my life and then some! 

     It's unclear how long all three of us will all be doing youth ministry here in this community. It could be two years or ten. How long will our kids all be in the same school?  We won't always be able to bring our babies on play-dates with each other as we talk about campus ministry and middle school small groups. But for now we can. As my friend Christina shared with me, for this season we have each other and we need to take advantage of it.  I hope you will too.

How do you cultivate female friendships in youth ministry? Share your ideas and success stories! Because we NEED each other. 


1 comments:

  1. by going to the youth network meetings!

    ReplyDelete

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