Anyone have a friend on Facebook or Instagram that is “that guy”? You know the one I’m talking about. He/She always posts pictures that look absolutely amazing, and it looks like they have an absolutely perfect life? I have a few like that. I even follow some amazing pastors on these accounts that are people I would consider to be spiritual giants. They post these amazing pictures of their quiet times in the mornings that make my 5-10 minutes that I try to steal away in my office look pathetic.
The fact of the matter is, no one is perfect. This also applies to our students. Often times when we plan events we plan based on the fact that our students will come in like little church angels, they pull out their bibles that have been perfectly highlighted with awesome notes in the margins, they will take out their binder which has every last one of our lesson handouts in them perfectly marked with the notes they were taking from our talk, tucked inside the binder is their Sunday School book, before class starts they offer to say the prayer, they give you their offering that they want donated to starving children overseas, they sing to every last worship song we play, they are perfectly attentive and considerate of other students, before they leave they double check to make sure all of their deposits are turned in for upcoming events and they make sure all their paperwork is properly filled out, and when they notice all the trash left over near the snack area they run over to clean it up so you don’t have to. Ahhh, the Insta-student! The one that’s completely perfect that we never have to worry about. The one that makes our life SO EASY!
You have those in your ministry right? If you are anything like me and the three churches that I have served, I DOUBT IT! Students are humans, just like we are. Like us they live very busy lives and often forget things. They don’t take notes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t listen. They don’t clean up, that doesn’t mean they don’t care. They forget to turn in their permission slips and deposits on time, that doesn’t mean they are out to get you. They forget to bring their offering, that doesn’t mean they hate starving orphans. They are shy and don’t want to pray, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a deep spiritual connection with Jesus. They forget their Bibles and Sunday School books, that doesn’t mean they don’t have one. They leave trash and our lesson handouts lying all over the youth room, that doesn’t mean they didn’t like our lesson. Students, like every youth minister I know, need a lot of grace from time to time.
Good thing for us, the God I serve is full of grace and mercy. He is faithful to forgive me when I mess up, so the least I can do is understand a teenager when He/She messes up. Just a little encouragement for you this week!