I was 16 years old. Feeling like a rebel in my beige 1984 Buick Century, I drove down a winding country road in my hometown with the Whitesnake classic, Here I go again, blaring from the radio.
“Tho’ I keep searching for an answer,
I never seem to find what I’m looking for
Oh Lord, I pray
You give me strength to carry on,
‘Cos I know what it means
To walk along the lonely street of dreams
An’ here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known,
Like a drifter I was born to walk alone”
Problem was that I wasn’t alone — or that cool in a Buick.
Many times in ministry, especially college ministry, you feel like you are walking alone.Just drifting along, trying to survive, and isolated from others in ministry. College Ministry has been described as the Navy Seals of ministry –It’s very hard work and no one ever gives you credit when it goes well(plus, some people erroneously call us Youth Ministers, a pet peeve of mine).
I am surrounded by a great church staff, but they often fail to grasp what college ministry is or have the tools to push me in my goals and desires.
After seven years in the same location, riding the ups and down, discouraged, tired, and feeling lonely, I feel like that song. My dreams diminished. Oh Lord, I pray to carry on.So what are some things to help me from going down that road alone?
Last year I called up a friend in college ministry so he could be a sounding board and listen to my problems.He is in another state so I didn’t have to worry about him calling my boss to share my complaints.Likewise, he is farther along in life than me (10 years) so we could talk about family and ministry.
In addition, I turned that around. I try to mentor/pour myself into another college minister who is younger in the ministry than me.It is refreshing to wrestle with his questions and my experiences.
Lastly, each year, I attend a college conference that features fellow church based college ministers (www.collegemetro.com).I glean so much from the side conversations and fellow Navy Seals that are in other college cultures and experiences.It’s invigoratingto be with like-minded ministers who understand what I am going through.
So what works for you?
> Who is pouring into you? Who are you pouring into?
> Attend a conference with like-minded college ministers.Maybe this fall with the Faith On Campus Fall Forum:http://faithoncampus.com/fall-forum/
What else has helped you prevent from being a drifter walking down the lowly street of dreams?