I've been in youth ministry long enough now to see students graduate and go off to college or work. It never gets any easier when I see them turn their backs on God. During the entire time of ministering to them I noticed a general apathy when it came to Christ but they were always convinced they were saved because they walked the aisle once.
Today I engaged with one student who is now largely a Satanist. I taught the Gospel to this kid every week and prayed for him constantly. I now look back and think to myself, "What happened?" I could point fingers at particular things but at the end of the day blaming anyone (including myself) just doesn't work.
The losses in ministry hurt. I have seen so many awesome things but I have seen probably more defeat. God has blessed every ministry I have been in and I love my job. I've seen several of my students either enter ministry or prepare themselves to enter ministry of some sort. I've seen kids become awakened to new things in God's Word.
But then I've seen just horrible, horrible things like students leaving the faith and worshiping openly the adversary (I've seen two kids do this now). I've seen kids get baptized and then continue to live horrible lifestyles, rejecting any opportunity for discipleship. I lament the structures we build within the church that cause this sort of problem to even exist. I get frustrated with the repeated losses we face and the misunderstandings that exist with the Gospel.
How long O Lord?