debrief: closure

“Have you been grieving over your time with the youth?”


More than anything I’ve had to face at this retreat, more than anything that I’ve had to deal with in regards to this season of transitioning out, this question actually took me by surprise.

“to grieve”

Is this really what it equates to?

To let go of my time with the youth equates to a funeral.

But it makes sense.


“How does it feel to get ready for your last ministry time for your last retreat?”

I don’t know

Even as I sit here amongst the chaos of the junior high students, I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about everything. 

The last night of the retreat was the usual mix of exciting worship and sodium-dense cup noodles that causes late-night mischief and bloated faces coming their way in the morning.

But for the first time in 8 years, I sat down to watch and enjoy the closing worship as memories of retreats past flooded my mind.

Every theme and the prayers I lifted in preparation for a proper theme to help focus the trajectory of our youth ministry.

Every teacher and volunteer that I got a chance to work with.

Every speaker that came with the fire to recharge our youth.

Every worship team that played their hearts out to see this generations raised and revived.

  1. Rooted (2012)
  2. Live the Story (2013)
  3. Vision (2014)
  4. Community (2015)
  5. WORD (2016)
  6. Live Victoriously (2017)
  7. (no theme) (SR) (2017)
  8. Joy (2018)
  9. Love (SR) (2018)
  10. He is Alive (2019)
  11. Ready (SR) (2019)

“This month is the beginning of my ninth year at this church”


I was so surprised and so thankful to be able to say that – but truthfully, I also found myself avoiding these particular words these past few months.

Because maybe I had this vain sense of shame over the pride I felt in my work.

I was faithful (most of the time)

I worked hard

And so, for this particular chapter of my life – to bring about an accelerant that would hopefully spur on change:… my time planning youth retreats as a youth pastor is finally over.

And I couldn’t be more thankful.

to God God God be the glory..


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