Look at the ministry of Christ in this passage. He had to emotionally spent, thinking of what was going to occur. The seriousness of it all was overwhelming. He would go to pray with all his heart and soul, then he came back to find his disciples sleeping. He gave them some instructions, and went away to pray. Then, he came back to find his disciples sleeping again.
Does this remind anyone else of youth ministry? You pour out your heart and soul into a lesson thinking your students are listening, then you come back the next Sunday and the ones you think will stand up are sleeping (possibly literally, but talking spiritually here). This is the generation we are handing the Church to…Christ had the same problem – these were the men that would build the 1st generation Church.
My encouragement is to not give up. These students will disappoint you from time to time, but read Acts 2:38-41. Look how far Peter came from that day that he fell asleep…that day that he denied Christ 3 times. In Acts 2, we see he later preached to a crowd where thousands accepted Christ.
Don’t give up on these teenagers. You never know how God might use them someday. Jesus didn’t give up on his “youth group”, and neither should you. Who knows, the next Simon Peter or Billy Graham could be in the back row of your next meeting…you could help make that happen.
This video shows some examples of people that failed, but just needed a little encouragement before reaching greatness. Will you be that person in your student’s lives? Discouraged in youth ministry? Welcome to the club…don’t give up.