As of last Saturday, our youth pastoring days are officially over. We turned it all over to our friend and ministry partner J, who gladly and readily accepted.
I'd have to admit that it's rather a sad thing to have to end that chapter, but I'd also have to admit that in the mix of sentiments, excitement is prominent. I'm not all "praise the Lord" in denial about the sadness that I feel, but on top of the sadness is a rich optimism that we're on our way to something bigger and better. I think of it as a level up, flipping to a new exciting chapter of our lives that brings us closer to the climax.
And of course it's not really goodbye - we are still after all in the same church, and our relationships with the kids will be forever, except no longer as youth pastors. We will always be a part of their lives and they ours. In a way it is also a level up for them; as i explained it to them two weeks ago, now that they will be under J's leadership, and now that they are grown-up and well-trained, they are no longer spiritually-starved kids who come to church to be fed but co-workers with J to feed the younger, hungry kids.
As for the Hubby and I - well, as of this point anything is a possibility. We still have no idea what to do next, so we'll be taking time the next two months to pray and think about it. We can't see ourselves anywhere in the new structure of the church - yet - but that isn't such a bad thing because it opens up our options. We know we (both and individually) are cut out for full-time ministry, that's for sure; but that doesn't necessarily mean full-time employed in our local church, and it doesn't necessarily mean now, after 5 years of youth ministry. I've been feeling like a big fish in a small pond already, and though it scares me to move to a bigger pond - maybe even the sea - I'm quite excited.