When A Teenager’s Life Doesn’t Go According To Plan

I never planned on being a youth pastor, my plan was to be a documentary film maker.  Looking back it’s clear that God was guiding me to where I am today; however, coming to the realization that my film career was never going to happen was a little hard.  I could go on and go deeper on other things that haven’t panned out in my life, but that would take writing a book.

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In Pete Wilson’s book Plan B, he talks about the struggle we can face when we realize our lives aren’t going according to plan.  Just when we think we are in control of our destiny someone or something comes in and takes away control.  Is it God, is it sin, is it the devil?  It’s hard to figure out; however, when we shift our attention to God in times of transition we can learn to embrace the “new plans” for our life.

I think for a lot of students this can be a brutal reality.  I especially think about this as we head into the Fall and see students who are about to engage in their senior year, getting ready to finish up SATs, write essays, and fill out applications.  Just like anybody they have dreams and hopes, which can be dashed when things just don’t go according to plan.
I’m a huge advocate of small groups, we are going to push them hard this year for seniors because in those groups we want to take time to help students process any changes or decisions they may have not forseen.  We also want to give them support.  I know small groups aren’t the only solution to easing senior year stress, but with community we can give them the suppor they need.
As youth workers we all deal with this and would love to hear what you all offer seniors as they discern the next stage of life.