There is an excellent article at http://ow.ly/3FKZu by Jay Higham on how NOT to look at what other youth groups are doing. Take a second to read that article and come right back.
Are you back? Great!
I think most of us in youth ministry have some sense that we don't need to compare ourselves to each other. I think the problem in my own soul is that I subconsciously am doing it much more than I admit. I have to catch myself doing it in order to stop doing it. There are a few things that help me in concrete ways to bloom where I am planted rather than admire grass that appears to be greener.
1. My God-moments
I remember those late night one-on-one conversations with students that other youth guys have NOT had with our students. The other youth guy at Supah Kewl Church of Awesomeness doesn't know that the kid I had lunch with the other day wants to be in a job profession that his dad thinks is ridiculous. And he also hasn't listened to the sweetest lady in the world talk to him about her husband who recently passed away and confess that it has not really sunk in yet.
2. My God-given personality
I did a quick talk for a school club recently, and had a blast. It went great (as far as I know), and the Youth Pastor of the Year didn't do that. The students I share life with know me and will continue to get to know me, and if they think I'm cool, then who cares if anyone else does?
3. My God-given task
God brings us very specifically to the things that He has put before us. He did not bring someone else to our own version of Queen Esther's "such a time as this." Everything God has done in my life has brought me to this moment, and I need to dig my heels in, and point myself and the others God has put with me to the King and all of His glory! His face should be the one I worry about. I ignore the faces of other folks enough to picture the only Face that truly matters. Because no one else will have the authority to say what the Righteous Judge will tell me on Judgment Day. And it will not make a difference whether my brothers and sisters in Christ smile upon my efforts to serve Jesus. If He smiles at me, then nothing else matters!