One of our small group leaders last night confessed he was discouraged. The week before, the guys in his group had pushed the boundaries, spoken disrespectfully, and pretty much sabotaged the discussion. He wasn’t alone. Several of us felt this way with our groups. In fact, as I’ve interacted with small group leaders from youth ministries around the nation, one of the most common themes is a sense of discouragement. This is true not simply in youth ministry, but in the daily grind of every relationship and each meaningful personal endeavor.
Don’t underestimate the power of your presence.
Even if there are stretches that don’t go well, even if everyone seems like a squirrel on sugar, even if the questions fall flat or the tangents escape control, your presence week after week, year after year, will be transformational.
God’s work in a person’s life is often long-term. Sanctification is a life-long process of working out our salvation. The Holy Spirit is committed to people now… and tomorrow… and next week… and through the years and beyond the horizon. Your presence is a reinforcing reminder of that life-changing truth.
More than just about any profound thing you could say, or any great question you could ask, others need you to be there. With the stress and upheaval in a person’s life, your consistency speaks more loudly than you probably realize in the midst of chaotic moments.
I believe this verse is proven true through a ministry that is patiently present:
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap a harvest of blessing if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9