Saying Goodbye to Youth Work

On June 30th I’m drawing to a close a long stint of youth work. I only recently realized that my last day as youth director at the church stands for something much more significant than a job change. This is a goodbye to an era. I don’t take these things lightly. But I do know that it is the right time. This youth ministry chapter has lasted a little over 8 years, and it has been good. Stretching. A great space to grow in. But now I see God walking me into a new season where my gifts will be (even) more fully used, and that feels nice.

I would like to learn how to say “goodbye” to seasons properly. I feel a bit ready to rush out of this one, but I don’t want to skip over anything. When I realized that nice Agent B linked me in his network as “youth worker,” I sort of had an inner-freak out session. (“I’m a what?”) That link-reaction showed me that, emotionally, I have probably already said “goodbye” to this part of my life.

I suppose I do that. I always grieve way in advance. If only I could learn to write papers that way.

14 Responses to “Saying Goodbye to Youth Work”
  1. Agent B says:

    The agent network labels seem to have that effect on people…

    A friend formerly known as “home depot guy” was anxious to see his moniker change to “freelance writer”.

    Gotta love being labeled by strangers. And coming from me…the guy who hates labels.

    All the best to you in this new era.

  2. Rachel says:

    Oh Nelly. May your papers be written with ease, grace, speed and inspiration! : ) And may your transitions be filled with comfort and joy.

  3. Sue says:

    I love learning who you are by reading your words!

  4. Arianna says:

    i always balk at referring to portions of life as “seasons.” i don`t know why. i just wanted to tell you that.

  5. lisa says:

    I have a blurry photo from years ago of Byron and I both holding Foster’s Lagers and grinning ear to ear as we closed a season. Even when we loves certain chapters, their closing is good. I heard a nice prophetic lady from Australia last week say that when we don’t enjoy doing the same things that we used to enjoy, don’t feel bad. It’s a good thing because God is moving you into new things. So come to my house soon! I see you have your tickets! PS I am in London as I type!! Just here for 24-7 🙂

  6. Rachel says:

    have you heard of this person?:

    I think you might like her music.

  7. Jenelle says:

    Agent B,
    I was happy that receiving your moniker meant me figuring out myself better.

  8. Jenelle says:

    Thank you for your blessings and fun music recommendations. I’ll check her out.

  9. Jenelle says:

    I’m counting the days until you start blogging and arm-wrestle Lisa for the “hottest Mommy blogger” prize. That would be a celebrity (faux) death match that I’d watch in claymation.

  10. Jenelle says:

    I know, I know. That “season” word is overused in many Christian circles. I appreciate your balking. It makes me think of better words.

  11. Jenelle says:

    I’ve had a picture in my head of that picture all day. I think you showed it to me once. Thank you for the nice encouragement. I like prophetic Aussie ladies. And I really like you. I’ll come over to play soon. Enjoy London! Make witty remarks to Brian H. and make him laugh.

  12. lisa says:

    yea, we look blurry, relieved and quite young in that photo and likely i have shown it to you

    btw, the moniker of mommy always makes me a little squeamish. haven’t worked out why cuz hey, i AM a mom!

  13. Mel says:


    I connect with you so much on this bit of life. Thank you for helping me touch this part of my heart again through your words. I tend to grieve the end of life-seasons much longer and later as opposed to beforehand. I suppose there are both positive and negative aspects to both forms of grieving. I wish I could find the middle ground… I miss you nellers… lots.

  14. Jenelle says:

    May you gracefully dance your way into the middle with the help of the Spirit. It is alright to still be grieving Germany. We just can’t hang calendars on our emotions. Much love.

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