So the youth from my congregation are headed out this weekend to our denomination's General Assembly in Fort Worth, TX. And, believe it or not, I'm not going.
Several months ago we realized that Nathan would be arriving shortly before the Assembly dates, so we wound up in a bit of a predicament. There were a few in the group that wanted to cancel the trip altogether and plan a different trip on a different date. But after thinking about it for a bit I began asking myself, "Why do I need to be there?" We have some good leaders and adult volunteers who would be more than capable of leading the trip without me.
So we began to put things together and replanned our trip based on my absence. Two great volunteers from our church are heading things up and have been in on the planning process with me.
I must admit, throughout the process I've suffered quite a bit of anxiety. None of my anxiety was based on whether or not the volunteers could handle it. Instead I was anxious because if something goes wrong, more likely if I happened to mess something up in the planning, I won't be there to deal with it. I really hope I didn't mess anything up for them.
But now most of my anxiety has subsided and I'm feeling really confident about this trip. In fact, I'm actually excited about it because it will be a great opportunity for the kids in our church to bond with and learn from the people they need to be bonding with and learning from--namely other adults in the congregation besides me.
I think this could actually be a good model for doing youth ministry trips/activities in the future. I know there are some events that their pastor may want or need to be there for. But I think this is creating a really good opportunity in our youth ministry.
What about you?
Do you have any stories of doing youth trips/retreats without a "staff" person being there? I'd like to hear about your experiences.