Do You Really Deserve Affirmation?

Flight was delayed an hour, but I could care less.  As much as I wanted to see my family, I was feeling on cloud nine after a few days with youth ministers who showed me so much love.  It was a time to reconnect with God and revisit why it is I am a youth minister.  The affirmation was overwhelming and I come back to Baltimore with a great sense of confidence.

While it’s a blessing I find it common to receive affirmation from fellow youth ministers.  Theirs a solidarity and if anyone is going to give it to you it’s someone else in the trenches.  But, is it something I should expect?  Is it something we deserve?


Youth ministry isn’t about receiving praise, it’s about emptying yourself so that God can use you to do amazing things in other’s lives.  It’s a harsh truth, one that I’ve denied facing, but if I keep doing what I’m doing, expecting others to affirm, I’ll only find myself disappointed.
As youth ministers we need encouragement, and we need to be cheered on; otherwise, we’ll burn out.  So, where do we get affirmed?  When we are with God and when we spend time with Him.  What prevents us from getting it?  That comes down to:

“Who we are trying to please?”

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  • great challenge. thankfully we do have fellow youth workers to cheer us on because we get so little of that from the students and parents we work with.

    i think most youth workers are striving to please god and are ok with the hard and thankless work of youth ministry. thankfully we are part of the body and other youth workers get to represent the voice of god in that affirmation.


  • BK,
    Thanks for your thoughts, I agree it’s fellow ministers that help us move forward and that the majority do it for God…I think those of us aware of that need to remind one another who it is we are trying please.