i hate senioritis! it’s a very personal hatred too. i don’t hate it because my seniors are not around to be leaders within the youth ministry anymore – truthfully it seems to me each year that the junior class within the student ministry are almost always better leaders/servants than the seniors. it’s not even that the number of seniors attenders to our weekly services goes down because the past two years it hasn’t – last year we had more seniors attending at the end of the year than at the beginning and the same thing seems to be happening this year.
nope the real reason i hate senioritis is completely selfish – i don’t get to spend as much time with my seniors as soon as senioritis kicks into gear. even though we have more seniors coming to our weekly programs i don’t see the same seniors as often and when i do see them they don’t just hang out as much. we have a fair number of teens who regularly participate in the ministry. yet the whole thing still feels small because everyone loves each other and there is always allot of hanging out that happens before and after things. for some reason it seems like every year the seniors just don’t hang out as much. i love these guys & girls. i’ve spent four years getting to know my senior class. i love the circles of conversations that form after our wednesday night worship service, the view. in many ways these “circles” are the life blood of our ministry. i hate senoritis because it keeps our seniors from being a big part of these “circles”. they simply have other things going on now so they attend, they sing loudly, they listen well but they don’t hang out. that saddens me.
in addition to the fact that our kids love to hang out with each other one of the things i love about our student ministry is that our teens and adults desire to be apart of making things happen. we aren’t just putting things “on” for people to come to. we have a group of people who want to participate in the process of ministry. they show up early, they volunteer to help with things, they come up with ideas for things to be involved in and ways to improve what is going on, and last but not least they aren’t afraid to try something new and possibly fail completely (we frequently try things that fail miserably). senioritis leads to our seniors merely being “attenders” when they used to be “participants.” that saddens me.
slowly but surely our seniors are pulling out of our hang out “circles” and becoming attenders rather than participants. it happens every year and i guess i should be used to it by now. i’m not and i hope i’ll never actually be “used to it.” our seniors are showing up for events and programs and then leaving. they have new directions in life that are pulling them in new directions. i understand that but i still don’t like it. honestly, i feel like the new directions are pulling the kids away from me. yes this is all about me. i’ve seen them grow from eighth graders, small little pubescent punks :), to young men and women. i love hearing their stories. i love and enjoy these seniors (just like i did last year’s and the year before’s) both as individuals and a group. i miss them when i don’t get to spend as much time with them. every year about this time the seniors start simply coming to things and that’s when i start missing them.
i see it happening already and i am beginning to miss these kids already. that saddens me.