With me growing up around sailboats and loving survival skills, I think Robert Redford did an excellent job with All is Lost. Composed of just a few sentences and hardly any soundtrack, this very real, jaw dropping thriller will make you feel isolated and hopeless through it all.
There are too many times in student ministry we (youth pastors) feel this way about our ministry — isolated — hopeless. If it weren’t already hard enough to sail a boat across the Indian Ocean, the guy just happens to hit a shipping container in the middle of nowhere! With what seems the already impossible task of running a stellar weekend program, having every leader/volunteer slot filled and ensuring every visiting student returns, the ominous adversary that is determined to sink your ministry comes unfairly unexpected.
Isolation and hopelessness come in all shapes and sizes, whether it be an ignorant staff member stirring up rumors about you, an irate parent disagreeing with your philosophy of ministry or perhaps budget cuts so bad you can’t spend a penny. You need to hold fast and weather the storm to develop perseverance in yourself and for the sake of your ministry. There’s no denying it, you will hit one storm after another, especially in student ministry. With each storm weathered comes a victory and even victories can be disguised as hard lessons learned, all is not lost. Through it all you will become a stronger leader and a better youth pastor for your ministry and your church.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James
If you want to watch the movie “All is Lost”. Get it here.