Depending on the year we have a varying number of Youth Pastor networks with which we meet. From 2000-2005 we had a great youth ministry network in Fayette County. Then three key youth pastors left and we had no network until this past March when, seemingly from out of nowhere(!), a group of youth pastors came together and now we have a big school year kick off happening in September in Uniontown. It happened without us doing anything - it must've been God.
On the other hand, we have had a great network of youth pastors in Greensburg for a few years now and within the past six months three key youth pastors have left and that network is, for the moment, gone! In some ways, the body of Christ is ever flowing, ebbing, the tide going in and out. Sometimes nothing is happening, sometimes we can't keep up with it all! This September we have three school year kick off events taking place - for Westmoreland County, Fayette County, and the Mon Valley. It is just fascinating to watch how God works.
Unfortunately, I know that some of the changes we see in youth ministry in our area is not the result of the will of God, but the poor value people place on youth ministry and youth pastors. Nevertheless, God uses it all for good. I am happy for my youth pastors friends who have left and found better youth ministry situations and are happier in them. It was hard to see them suffering. May God bless you guys.
We never know what it's going to look like from year to year, but we always enjoy making new friends and, inevitably, we know we will have to say good-bye to some old ones. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away - blessed be the Name of the Lord!