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Work with young people doesn't always go by the book.

There is a picture hanging in my office at Trinity Seminary that I have somewhat jokingly labeled "The Death of a Youth Minister." The picture shows me during a youth group backpacking trip to Colorado, lying spread-eagle on the ground, totally exhausted.

A few of the kids were tired that day and were moaning and complaining, so I had agreed to carry some of their gear. That day of lugging what felt like a gargantuan pack up the side of Mt. Blanca-while the kids kept on grumbling-forever pictures for me the frustrations and the sweat that can come with youth ministry. When I later left the church, the glass over the picture cracked in the move. I decided to leave it that way. It seemed appropriate.

Now that's not the only picture-or memory-I have of my decade and a half in youth ministry. So much of it was happy. They were great years, marvelous years of ministry. I think of special people, of encouragement. I love young people and consider ministering to them a privilege, which is why I ...

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