A love letter to all Summer Seminar Students:
Doing your homework matters, and we love you and are proud of all of you persevering today finishing your assignments.
You may think it a crazy waste of time and stress. But let me give you a few reasons why it isn't.
1) You're not the first or the last to do it.
2) You inspire and support one another.
3) You're a testament to the work ethic of Youth Ministry workers. All these long nights, extra cups of coffee, and hand cramps help witness to your devotion to growing in your expertise at serving God's beloved children and church. Taking time away from team meetings, family, sleep, and work is a great sacrifice in order to better oneself to serve. Not everyone is willing to give that much of themselves, so be proud and know it is appreciated and noticed!
4) Your passion and dedication to your calling to serve young people is evident by not just relying on natural talent and, "winging it on a prayer". Although we're all gifted and guided by God's spirit - sometimes God asks us to put our own extra effort and investment. It is a humble act to become a life long learner, and you are all great witnesses to that! Know that your youth benefit from your tireless work to improve and gain new wisdom, but also by your example of dedication to a cause. Young people long to throw themselves "All In" as our good friend Michael Chiasson would say. They only benefit and gain courage to do so by seeing you do this into your craft and career in youth ministry.
5) You're paving the way for the next wave of leaders. I was a delinquent 3 years late to the party of starting my certificate in Youth Ministry. I was also a university drop out who didn't want to admit it, but was afraid of failing again at "school". The example of friends before me and their encouragement gave me courage to get back on the saddle. If this university dropout can do it, anyone can - and you all tell that story by your various situations and perseverance in completing the courses.
6) Finally, celebrate well. Eat a whole cheesecake. Have that beer. Dance in the snow. Rejoice and proclaim what you've accomplished. Call a friend and scream "I'M DONE!!!!" to them. Don't just jumped into the next thing. Relish and sit with your accomplishment. And of course, invite and encourage others to step up to the challenge next!
Well done Summer Seminar students. We're proud to have you in the family.