Hello First Methodist Family!
As a teenager, I remember thinking that being a youth leader was the best job in the whole world, and that everybody on earth probably wanted to be one.
I had no idea what this job would really entail, from meetings to spreadsheets, to curriculum planning, to med forms. I had no idea that, before 40 teenagers show up to play a game, there’s usually an hour of me testing it by myself in the Justin to try to figure out just how hard it is to shoot a dodgeball in a trashcan blindfolded. I had no idea that, for every amazing victory I get to celebrate with teenagers, there’s an equal amount of devastating losses, crying conversations, late-night text messages, and gut-wrenching grief. I had no idea how much I could emotionally invest in a middle school volleyball game, or that I would become so entangled in the beautiful, complicated, messy stories of so many young people seeking out, and being sought out, by their Creator.
Over this past month of transition and change on the youth staff, I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for all of our church families and church staff, and all the ways people have stepped up to show these teenagers (and me) that they are loved and surrounded by people committed to showing the love of Christ to them. As I’ve iterated over and over again to anyone who will listen, it’s the families that make this youth ministry what it is, and the ownership, leadership, initiative, and selflessness I have seen from so many of you has been an absolute delight to witness. I consider myself luckier than you know to have such engaged, servant-hearted families in this ministry. You all make my job easy.
Speaking of my job — It is with gratitude for all that I’ve already learned from this community, and with hopeful expectation for all that God will do in the years to come, that I get to tell you that, starting November 1, I will be First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth’s Director of Youth Ministries!
I have been acting as an interim director since mid-September, while working with the search committee and SPRC about the best path forward for everyone involved. I am delighted and excited to step into this new responsibility and opportunity, and find so much comfort and confidence in the knowledge that this is the community that I’m inheriting. The search committee, formed last month to make decisions about the director role, will begin searching for an Associate Director of Youth Ministries. I ask that you keep them in your prayers as they continue this important work.
Thank you for the ways you have all so warmly welcomed me into your lives, and shared your families and faith with me. I consider it a privilege to be here. The Justin, for all of its silliness and chaos, is a place of grace, hope, laughter, and authenticity, and I treasure all of the tears shed, memories made, games played, and even med forms signed, in this place with these people. When I was a teenager, I thought being a youth leader was the best job in the whole world, and I was right.