I have followed the Post Secret blog for years, saving various images that jump out at me as possible teaching illustrations. Basically, it started as an experiment that became far more popular than ever anticipated; people send in anonymous postcards they create with their secrets on them. Turns out people are dying to confess somewhere safe – but that’s a whole different blog post.
These are two postcards I’ve saved for a while now. I wish I could find the youth workers that made them and see how they’re doing. I wonder if they’re part of a network? And if so, if they’re being honest and reaching out for help from their fellow youth workers?
The reality is, in church ministry leadership, there aren’t a lot of safe places to reach for help. As much as a church may say it is, it’s just not true for the pastors (how many discarded leaders are there throughout our country?). A network, on the other hand, is a different story. It’s a group of men and women who get it because they serve in similar contexts, but without all the awkwardness of being fellow staff or people the youth worker is called to lead. Besides all the great reasons youth workers need to network – ideas, teamwork, reaching a region, etc., one of the more critical reasons in my mind is for the encouragement, support, and help that can be found in a network.
If you’re a youth worker and you don’t know where your local network is, check out the National Network of Youth Ministries. They’ll get you connected!