19 November 2014

Things You Would Overhear in Youth Ministry

One of the funny things about working with teenagers are the crazy, funny things memories or sayings that have over the years become part of the culture that has created greater community and joy.

So here's a list of some of my favorites and definitely things you may hear if you came to visit our youth ministry on a given Sunday night.

No Purpling
This is one of those rules that is always addressed on weekend retreats and conferences, that girls and guys are never to be in each other's rooms. Boys be blue and girls be red. Should there be the mixing of those two colors you get purple. It now has become a bit of a joke for some of the teens to randomly yell that out loud when we're in public together at an event or something. That has gotten some weird looks so naturally I killed the fun of screaming "no purpling" in public.

Don't play Hug-a-bear with Patty...she might give you a concussion
Okayyyy before you get all judgy mcjudgerson on me, let me first say the young lady didn't get a concussion and she is still happily involved in youth ministry.
So last year on fall retreat, we played this amazing, wonderful game called hug-a-bear. Everyone stands in a circle and someone yells out, "Hug-a-bear 3" and find two other people to hug. Fun right? Well sometimes I am known to get a wee bit competitive with games. So we're in the middle of this rousing game of hug-a-bear, and I accidentally hip checked one of my teens. She fell on the frozen ground and hit her head. Thankfully she was fine and we remain friends to this day. However, to this day I am still taunted by the teens (how dare they!? gasp.) to be careful when playing hug-a-bear with me. #rudebears

Telling the Archbishop the best thing about youth ministry is the humus and pita chips
Yayyy a story where I don't hurt people, but only teens embarrass me.
So our Archdiocese has a tradition on Palm Sunday. The archbishop invites all the young people and young adults to the Palm Sunday liturgy and a reception afterwards. Free food + Jesus? I'm there.

So this year, I'm sitting at the table with my posse of tweens and a couple seminarians. So the archbishop comes to our table; we make introductions and there's small chat. Well the bishop asks the young people what do they like most about youth ministry. Their response? "We love youth ministry! Patty is great! We like the food and sometimes she splurges and gets us pita chips and humus." #truestory
Whoops no mention of Jesus or growing in faith. Oh and did I add those two that flapped their gums are youth leaders in the program? Forgot my raise this year.
We laugh at about it a lot now, but at the time I was definitely less than thrilled with my little evangelists.

Can we have healthy snacks?
This year especially I have had requests for more healthy options at weekly meetings. Hey I'm all up for healthy food, especially when it comes to my weekly weigh-in for Weight Watchers. Sure we still have candy, Cheetos, and pop, but we're including stuff like carrot sticks and apples too.

What time is it? (Lent, Ordinary Time, Advent, Easter)
Nerd moment. So every time someone asks the time, I respond with the above liturgical wittiness. They always sigh and roll their eyes at me, but come on isn't that even a smidge funny?

I'm running on caffeine and grace
Every summer we go this youth conference in Ohio usually the end of June or beginning of July. Which basically translates to the fact it is as hot as Hell. Anyway its one of my most favorite things to take young people too. The only downside is in all its awesomeness and community building over the entire weekend you are running on 10-12 hours of sleep.
When we were leaving this summer to drive down, I mentioned to one of the teens it was another weekend that we'd all be running on caffeine and grace. Now when we go on retreats, conferences, or long trips some will ask if this another time we'll be running on caffeine and grace. 90% of the time it is.

There are definitely more rolling around in my head for sure, but currently these are some of my favorites. The crazy, silly, joyful moments like these are some of the best things I love about my job:)

1 comment:

  1. This made me smile so much! I definitely have a special place in my heart for youth ministry and hope to get a chance to work in it in the future. In the meantime, teaching high schoolers is pretty fun, too!


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