It is always amazing to look at a canyon or a river bed and see how water running over time can even shape stone. A steady persistent drip of water can do more to reshape rock than a fast short torrent.
I am trying to remember this truth also applies to youth ministry.
Lately I have been working with a group of middle school students in an after school program. I am trying to use board games as a way to open up conversations with them and it is working, well sort of. What I think is working more than the games is the fact that I am there week after week. As I have been just simply hanging out with them I have been able to be there in the middle of all of the crazy stuff in their life. It has been a great reminder of how important it is just to be present with students.
As a youth pastor I have a tendency to get wrapped up in the lessons and the activities and all of the stuff that goes into just keeping thing going from week to week. What doing this group has reminded me that youth (especially the younger ones) are looking for adults to give be present in their lives. They need caring adults who are willing to listen and willing to speak truth to them. As youth pastors that is what we called to do as much as anything else. We are called to be present in the lives of students.
It doesn’t always produce immediate results, but it is a slow steady progress that can soften even the hardest heart of stone.