People who choose to work with teenagers are a special breed.
People who claim to love their work with teenagers? Well that’s just unbelievable to most.
And people who love working with teenagers and do it for FREE? Well, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
I am cross-my-heart-honest when I say I am one of those crazies. I love teenagers, specifically of the female variety. My heart connects with theirs. They trust me. We laugh a lot. We act completely ridiculous and become the recipients of many a raised-eyebrow by adults who are much more cultured than I.
But I’m ok with all of that.
Overnighters are one of the inevitable events that crops up after the teens are comfortable enough to WANT to spend the night with their friends with YOU in charge. It just screams group bonding!! and is a good time waiting to happen.
But I’ve got to be honest–sleepovers are my least favorite part of youth ministry. Why? Well, mostly the lack of sleep. I function off of a full 8 hours and nothing less, and I can all but promise you there won’t be 8 hours of sleep to be had when you get a bunch of teenage girls in a room with tons of snack foods, nail polish, and the ever-present girl talk.
And yet, I chose to arrange this sleepover…yes ME. I was hoping and praying the bonding and laughing and girl talking that would go on would far outweigh the lack of sleep and the overeating.
I was right. A whole gaggle of girls ages 12-17 filled the youth room and we had a wonderful time together. Only 5 of the 13 hours together were spent sleeping, but that was ok. I had time to nap for 2 hours later in the day.
Relationships with these girls is worth the sacrifice of sleep.