It seems like many ministry blogs lately like to point out what’s wrong with the church.
– “five things that repel visitors from your church”
– “seven reasons (this particular age group) is leaving your church”
– “four things to stop doing during Lent”
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Does anyone ever talk about what’s going well…, other than to toot their own horn as having all the magical answers to every ministry problem?

There are indeed days that I want to pull my hair out or walk away, wondering if any of what I do makes a difference. So occasionally, I like to stop and consider, what’s going well in our ministry?

Here are some of my current joys:
-I have one youth in particular who gets really excited and jumps at the opportunity to serve as Liturgist. She is eager to serve, willing to even come half an hour before worship begins to go through the bulletin.
-I have a core group of four senior high youth who enjoy getting together for breakfast on the one day of the month school starts a little later. They could be sleeping in, but instead we meet together for fellowship and sharing (and coffee and bagels!)
-When I go to my youth’s chorus concerts or plays, afterwards they run up to me, smiling, give me a hug, and thank me for coming. They know that someone loves them and supports them in developing and sharing their talents.
-My youth share feedback readily about their opinions on things and know that their input is valued and that they are part of a team that co-creates our ministry together.
-I’ve heard from more than one of my youth parents and colleagues that the youth sing our worship songs at sleepovers or at night before bed.
-One of our recent confirmands told us at youth group recently that she still says the prayer we adapted together from the order for evening prayer from the hymnal. (We wrote it over a year ago.)
-In talking with two older church members this week about our new missions ministry model, they both shared their continued passion for missions and a renewed excitement about the direction we’re heading.

I’m so thankful for these and many other things going well in our ministry. I’m always evaluating how things are going, looking for new ideas, considering ways we can be more welcoming to everyone and ways we can become more faithful disciples of Jesus. I have no magical (or oversimplistic) answers when ministry is hard or why people don’t show up like we want them to. It is frustrating and discouraging. But what I can do is be thankful for what’s going well, be alert to how God is present and moving all around, and continue to embody Christ’s love as best I can.

What’s going well in your ministry?
How do you handle discouragement or frustration?

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