Recently I have been spending time reflecting on the past year, and also looking ahead to the future. This time has led me to do some serious repenting and in need of apologizing. One of my jobs this past year was to lead Moto, the middle school ministry at Watermark, and as I have been away from that role for a bit of time, I am realizing what that actually looks like. People volunteer their time because they desire to mentor and give love to young people who they believe in. The middle school students show up to the different events for several different reasons, but as a ministry we see it as an opportunity for them to encounter Jesus Christ. I'm sure the students had fun this year, and I imagine they learned some things as well, but I feel an overwhelming sense that an apology is in order. My job as a pastor was to create an atmosphere, environment, and program that best facilitates the growth of relationships. That means the volunteers are receiving leadership, guidance, and the best opportunity to mentor and love the students. They have given precious time away from family, work, and rest to share life with the students, and I feel what they got in return was often unorganized, poorly led, and disrespectful to that time. There were too many times that the program often got in the way of an opportunity to share life with students. The students rarely spent time in their small group, which left hardly any time to download the message, share thoughts with their peers, or just to unpack their life with one another. The messages were often rushed into the last 10-15 minutes of the night, before the students ran off to go home, which I can imagine left the students retaining little of what was even discussed.
I am sure the students often had fun, there was plenty of that put into the night, and I know there were nights that God had His way in people's lives. But I don't feel like I did my job in shepherding, leading, and creating the best possible environment for students to experience what it truly means to be a movement for God. I am very sorry, and I am learning daily how I need to grow as a pastor, and a leader. I am sorry to the parents for the poor communication, and I know your time was often disrespected with things being unorganized. The church is not perfect and everyone cannot be pleased, but I could have done better, and I could have been a better facilitator. Preparing for where God leads me next, these lessons have humbled me, hurt me, and led me to listen to Father God much more intently and frequently.