A tip from the new parent in youth ministry.
To any youth worker who finds themselves heading into the delicate world of parenting.
Never leave your toddler to roam throughout the youth building with teenagers during mingling hours
(Before or after services, waiting for students to get picked up, during a concert. This includes fellowship halls, foyers, or anything that resembles a church gathering area.)
Your child will–and I repeat WILL– come back having eaten two M &M cookies and downed an entire bottle of neon blue Gatorade, leaving her lips to resemble those of Smurfette and her tummy to bulge like she just ate at a buffet. Did I mention that it will most likely be 9PM, just minutes before you will attempt–emphasis on attempt–to put her in her crib to sleep. Which, at that point, she will looked at you like a crazed bull in a pen and try to climb up your ascending arms to your neck, holding on like she’s just been given the worst punishment-EVER. You will know that sleep is the very best thing for her and come to grips with the fact that you have to put her back. After you peel your child from your face, you’ll lay her down–say a prayer–and walk calmly out of the room.
After the crying ceases you remember that you love your baby, you love your ministry, and you love the people that love your baby and your ministry—that’s why they give her cookies and care for her in the foyer when we are busy doing ministry. This is the moment when you become grateful–even for sugar.