There are things about my job that make it hard. There are things that make it absolutely wonderful and fulfilling too like seeing a teenager wake up to God’s call on their life for the first time, or shepherding students towards a deeper love with God. Then there are the cool things that I like to call the perks. Yesterday was one of those perk days.
I took 18 students, me and another adult to play paint ball at a facility in Dothan. (If you happen to live around Dothan, AL you should check out Hot Shots. They were sooooo great to us!). In youth ministry there aren’t often events that succeed as much as our paint ball trip did yesterday. There were no fights, few harsh words, and everyone had fun–real honest fun. Over the years working with teenagers one of the things I have developed is a sense for when to stop something. We ended our playing time with just a little bit of paint left, but we were right on the edge of that threshold. I could feel that if we kept playing something would happen to mar the day for us. (By the way I have found that threshold to almost always be less than 4 hours. You should be very wary of planning teenager events that go more than 4 hours without some type of major down time)
Of course all of it was made so much better by the really great staff at the Paint ball place. These guys were helpful yet laid back. They were the right combination of in control, but not too controlling. When I stepped back they were willing to set up some games, but also were willing to do whatever games we wanted to do too. Like I said, if you are around Dothan, go to Hot Shots.