I can’t think of anything profound to say this morning.  

I’m sat here at my computer, praying and searching my brain for something profound to share with you, but I'm genuinely drawing a blank.

I could just not write but as I realise there’s nothing profound to be said I can’t help but think that this must, so often, be a burden of youthworkers across the country.  Can there be a never-ending flow of creativity, profundity and wit issuing from their minds?  If there were, that must be exhausting.  It is widely acknowledged that the living example of the people we admire is as significant to us as the words they say or activities they lead. 

Our lives, lived out in connection with those young people add meat to the bones of our teaching and authenticity to the challenges we set. 

I am excited to see mentoring and young leadership becoming increasingly popular.  These are both great because they require space to acknowledge both success and failure, joy and disappointment – reality.  Mentoring creates (or should create) an environment where honesty and vulnerability can lead to letting go of what hinders, and pressing on towards hope.  It is also a great place for celebration and encouragement in times of great victory or joy.  As we encourage young people to take the reins in leadership it is inevitable that they will mess up, perform spectacular faux-pas and disappoint themselves.  

Living the reality of this, and knowing that value does not come from having it all sorted and perfect is core to how we as Christians seek to live in the world.

These are realities of any leadership, of any life.  It is important that acknowledge and live authentically the every day life of a disciple with our young people.  The beautiful, boring, exciting, normal life.  We are not (most of us) on a constant high, neither are we constantly profound.  We are human, normal (ish) and I applaud those youth workers who are managing to model to their young people the highs and the lows, and through it all the hope and the beauty of a God who was made man.  Our God, who knew what it was to hunger and thirst, to be tempted and tired, and despair and rejoice.  For we do not have a God who is unable to empathise with our realities.

I am grateful for those who led me in times of normality as well as times of great victory, as they are the ones whose victories I most aspired to – those victories, profundities and aspirations were all the more to be celebrated because the victors were normal like me.

If you are feeling like you are too normal to be an inspirational youthworker, can I encourage you that your normal yet deeply profound discipleship journey is a blessing to those you lead.

Pippa Elmes

Ministry Training Leader

Pippa supports those in church based student ministry to do their job really well. She loves challenging churches to work with students and equipping them to pioneer new mission opportunities to reach students.                     

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