After working in youth ministry for more than 15 years I know that discouragement can be a normal emotion. I know what it feels like to wonder if you are making a difference. I want to take a minute to silence that voice in your head and replace it with a loud and clear KEEP GOING, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
One of the biggest reasons these feelings are so common is because teenagers (and our society) are not typically good at saying thank you. Maureen and I recently had a few different experiences that were exactly the opposite; I hope they are as encouraging to you as they have been to us.
My wife Maureen spent an evening hanging out with some of the girls from her small group, and later that night she stumbled on to this post:
Then on a recent trip to Texas for some meetings I had lunch with a former student who graduated from our youth ministry almost 10 years ago. She is recently married, is doing well in the business world, and her faith is growing and as strong as ever. She shared how her time at Cloverdale and the influence of the pastors and leaders in her life has really made her into the woman of God she is today.
If you are just starting out in ministry, know that experiences like these are around the corner, keep going. Be faithful to the call God has given you, and I hope you will see similar fruit as God changes lives through your efforts.