One day someone asked me, "What about this? As a Youth Pastor, are you always challenged with discouragement when working with young people?"
This is probably the first time that an inquirer has ever asked me about me, so I'll take a moment to share my response with you. Of course, I deal with discouragement when I work with young people! However, I don't allow it to hinder my walk with the Lord in ministry. Young people do some really dumb things from time to time without giving any thought to the consequences that they will have to face. When a young teenage girl gets pregnant or a young teenage boy gets locked up, it can break the hearts of those who have been laboring for them to be successful in life. With me, when discouragement comes, I kick it to the curb with compassion.
What you must understand is that discouragement will cause a person to soft soak a spirit of sympathy or feel sorry for someone, but compassion will cause you to jump in there with them and help them to recover from a poor choice. In no way am I condoning the sinful choices of young people, but like the father of the prodigal son, and as a leader in the lives of young people, we must teach them how to overcome in every area of their lives. (Even from a death and dormant state of a poor choice). Here is a scripture that I stand on to assist me with discouragement:
The wicked fleeth when no man pursueth, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
I believe that we as leaders in the body of Christ need to have this boldness prevailing in our lives not only to assist us with working to help people, but to assist us personally.
Pastors Jeff and Dietra Wooten