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student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker

My Worst/Best Day in Ministry

By Doug Franklin January 18, 2011

My worst/best day in ministry was many years ago but I think about it often. The day sticks with me not because the things people said to me but because of what God said to me. I was working with a great group of students and parents at a growing church and for the most part I had very little conflict in the ministry. My numbers were high and my expenses were at budget, a good combination for a youth pastor. Even with the smooth sailing, God had been speaking to my heart and pushing me to leave. I couldn’t see what he saw, which was a young sr. pastor who going to make lots of mistakes. Following God’s leading I went to the church and said I was going to leave in six months and that  I would help them find a good replacement. They took my resignation happily. A few weeks after the announcement a couple of  elders and the pastors asked to have breakfast with me.  They had a problem with my leadership style; they thought I was too focused on being right and did not leave enough room for other people’s thinking. They were right, so I listened closely and accepted their insight. Then they went on to tell me how I was a good second man and would always be a second man and that was OK, I just needed to accept the fact that I was a #2 man and stop trying to to be a leader. I was shaken for all my life people had told me I was a leader. I enjoyed leadership and had made it the center of my youth ministry. Now the people I looked up to were telling me just the opposite. I remember standing outside the restaurant and asking God, is this right? He responded with, “no why did you think I led you to leave?”

I know many of you in ministry are facing tough days. You have questioned why you’re in ministry and why you’re in the place God has you. All I know is what I have learned from walking with God. He is there and he has got your back. You may not know how he is going to come through but I know he is with you.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More