youth ministry

Don’t apologize…

Don’t apologize….
  • For being 39 and loving to hang with teenagers.
  • For giving a student a hug, it might be the only hug they get all day.
  • For pursing a career in something your parents think is a stepping stone.
  • For giving up another career for something most adults don’t get.
  • For loving a job that your boss might look down on.
  • For being bored during the diving part of a swim meet.
  • For going to a soccer game simply to say hi and show your support for someone who isn’t your kid.
  • For liking how bad a freshmen jazz band sounds.
  • For texting info about tomorrows Bible study during staff meeting.
  • For being more comfortable driving a church van than your minivan.
  • For asking for more budget to cover the rental of sumo costumes
  • Or for losing the receipt for the sumo costumes.
  • For knowing exactly how much cash and time it takes to get 15 pizzas delivered.
  • For knowing that one large pizza feeds about 5 teenagers.
  • For practicing games on the XBox during office hours.
  • For bringing your kids on the camping trip for free.
  • For reusing a killer illustration over and over and over again.
  • For feeling weird when the senior pastor rips off your killer illustration in his sermon.
  • For being there when all hell breaks loose.
  • For being a little thankful that hell has broken loose because you know God will use it.
  • For asking hard questions to discover harder truths.
  • For challenging boys to become men.
  • For challenging moms and dads to let go of their dreams for their kids so their kids can have dreams of their own.
  • For representing Christ in places no one wants him represented.
  • For challenging other leaders to think differently about teenagers.
  • For challenging teenagers to think differently about themselves.
  • For asking students to skip band camp for Bible camp.
  • For keeping the door open when a member of the opposite sex is in your office.
  • For asking the secretary to skip her lunch so you aren’t in the church alone with a student.
  • For trying things that are new.
  • For giving up on things that don’t work.
  • For always believing that people can change.
  • For reaching the wrong kids.
  • For reaching kids like me.

Never apologize for being a youth worker. We need you too much. 

You don’t hear it enough. Thanks for serving today’s students. Thanks for investing your life in people the church all-too-often misses. Thanks for reaching kids like me. And thanks for putting up with the stuff you put up with just to keep going.


By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

20 replies on “Don’t apologize…”

Both fun and wise. 🙂 Though I was also surprised by the 5:1 pizza ratio. Not at our church! (PS- In this day and age… it’s probably best to leave the office door open when just one teen/kid of either gender is there, unless you have a window on your door. If you need privacy, take a walk or get creative.) 

Pizza math:  take the number of mouths to be fed, round up to the nearest number divisible by 3, divide by 3 and subtract 1.  So, 14 people = 15/3 – 1 = 4 pizzas.  This results in enough pizza that no one has to fear taking the last slice, everyone feels full, and you have a couple slices to put in the fridge for leftovers during the week.

So we don’t challenge girls to become women?  Challenge all our youth to become adults?  For a variety of reasons (my theology, the fact that I’m the father of a daughter, whatever) that one sided thought is really clanging on my ear and my heart.

Jay, I love you. I get it. I think you well know my outspoken position on women in ministry. (Even on my FB earlier this morning)

Just know this was written from my personal point-of-view. In my guys small group we make one of our stated goals to help them leave childhood behind and step into manhood. That’s all I meant by that. 

Not a problem at all.  Just thought I’d register the thought.  I’m sharing this with my leadership network this week.

You know I had that discussion about hugs recently with some people.   Obviously we don’t want to be careful, but I think hugs are important.  As a side, I don’t have an XBox, so I guess that means I don’t have as many things to apologize for, right? 

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