After the burst of "creative" energy that spawned the 100th visitor blog party, I really haven't had the motivation to write much else... But here is something I've been meaning to write about for a couple of days now:
It was this past Monday, my day off, but I needed to get something from the office (namely my paycheck which I had left there)... So I walk over after everyone was supposed to be gone because I didn't want to get caught up in something and end up staying longer than I wanted to. But I hear noise coming from the youth director's office. It sounds like her daughter, so I walk down and peak my head in. The youth director is at her desk, so I say "hi!" and with a flustered/frustrated look on her face, the youth director says hi back. So I ask what's wrong. She takes a piece of paper from her desk and flips it over so it is facing me. I approach her desk and look at it. It is a letter of resignation. She doesn't feel like she's the right person for the job, or that the youth are responding to her, or that anyone is benefitting from her being there. So she's turned in her two weeks.
Now there are some mixed emotions that followed this. At that time, I tried to be supportive, and acknowledge that turn-out for her events have not been the greatest, that youth who seem to be active and show up for social oriented functions aren't willing to put in the time for fund raising events, so she really feels like she's been fruitlessly laboring. So I tried to acknowledge that, and validate her feelings and thoughts. I've been in her position, although I loved the youth and had a great time at my functions with them, but I knew how she felt to have a job not turn out the way you had thought, and to just feel like things aren't meshing. And she was in the midst of writing her letter to be put in the newsletter, so it wasn't the right time at all to sit down and have the "what could have been done differently?" or "why do you think it didn't work out?" conversations.
But there was the part of me that thought, you know... this is probably a good thing. Maybe you aren't the best match for this job, maybe you haven't been putting enough of an effort in, maybe you should step down so that someone more qualified or with more of a sense of call can step in, maybe you do have enough other things going on in your life that are detracting you from giving this job what it deserves. But that just didn't need to be said right then, either. Or really at all, because what good would that do? I'm sure she was feeling crappy enough.
Of course after the conversation there came this little nagging voice that asked me "What more is going to be expected of you?" So the youth director is leaving. Sure she's only part time, but still that's 20 or so hours a week of youth oriented stuff that is going to need to be covered. That's a synod-wide ski trip that the kids are thinking about participating in. That's a joint lock-in with the other Lutheran church in town that someone needs to head up from our end. That's a Sunday night Bible Study and a 5th Sunday of every month Youth Service that someone needs to think about and plan. Who's going to be expected to pick up all those loose ends?
To tell you the truth, I would LOVE to be doing that stuff. I love working with youth and interacting with them, and I'd agree to that stuff in a heartbeat. But there's that part of me that says "Mark, internship - YOUR internship, especially - is not about that. Sure you love youth and are gifted in youth ministry but you are here to experience broader ministry." And although the longer I am at my internship site, the stronger I feel called to youth ministry (you don't realize how important something is until you don't get to do it as often as you used to... you realize how important it was to you) I know that I need to be about stretching myself and working outside of my comfort zone.
So yeah... that is what has been dominating my thought processes these past few days. And I've been trying to get information from people, like I asked my pastor what we were going to do, and he said that his motto is don't rush to fix something. We're going to wait and talk to the youth committee and see how things go, and of course we'll be expected to pick up some of the loose ends, but we'll have to wait and see what those are. Doesn't really give me any concrete answers, or a clue as to what my job will look like three weeks from now... But I guess we will see.