Thursday, January 29, 2009

There's always next week

There were a number of issues that came up with last night's youth group, including broken microphones, poorly executed transitions (which included me telling a random story about almost drowning while floating down the White River), a lackluster lesson (I definitely saw a new kid in the front row starting to doze off), and a few other details that I won't mention here. It was pretty discouraging, especially since the prior week went so well.

It's hard to evaluate what God is teaching me in moments like this. Did I not come prepared? Could I and the youth staff done a better job? Were we experiencing some form of spiritual warfare? Or was it simply an odd night? The encouraging irony is that despite the lame night, I hope there was at least one student who had some fun, made a new friend, or was encouraged by the lesson. It's a reminder that it's not completely up to me, that God can use those nights for His glory.

I'm reminded of a phrase my friend Jon encouraged me with once: there's always next week. No matter how awesome this week went, we still have to prepare and pray for next week. One good week is no excuse for slacking off. Also, no matter how horrible this week went, we still have to pick ourselves up and make sure we don't make the same mistakes two weeks in a row. We can't base our identity or hope in one week. There's always next week. And God's mercies are new every morning.


  1. That White River story is something I still tell people. I want to go again. =P

  2. You are definitely not alone on this one from a ministry standpoint =) Oh if we only knew the reasons why.... Hang in there and thanks for posting this.

  3. Don't worry Joel, we had a student and a staff fall asleep in one night. And I remember that story, it's a good one.