It’s the time of year when students are graduating and moving on. I am saying goodbye to a group of guys that are special to my heart. I guess you can say I’m in a glass cage of emotion. On the one hand, I am sad to see them leave. I won’t get to see them on a regular basis any more. My voice in their life will change. I no longer have the direct influence that I once had. On the other hand, I am excited to see them grow, mature and connect with Jesus in new ways as they grow up.

Each year I need to remind myself that my students are in the hands of One more capable than me. Jesus loves them infinitely more than I ever could. He will guide them, correct them, and heal them in ways that I will never be able to. When I find myself worrying about these students, I’m revealing the idol in my heart that says, “Without me, these kids will fail.” Instead, I have to trust in Christ more than myself. Sure, some may walk away from the church. Some may even leave the faith, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the Spirit of God to work in their hearts.

A common verse in my ministry is Philippians 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Jesus will finish what He starts. Do you believe it?

Stop and think of one student who is graduating from your ministry. You may be worried about what will happen when they leave. Talk to God for a moment. Release them to Him and surrender to trust in His mighty hand. Ask Him to finish what He started in their hearts. Rest in the peace of knowing that God is a better youth pastor than you.