Living in community with my junior high and highschool students has been a humongous learning experience for me and I could not be more grateful for the students I was able to walk through this season of life with. These students have a passion for learning and seek earnestly to understand truth. They care deeply for each other as well as those they attend school with. They are talented from the arts to the fields, and most on the courts as well. They treat people with love and respect and they inspire me to be a better person.
My students taught me how to love others authentically and reminded me of the grace each and every person on this planet needs each and every day.
I grew up in a big church, so having only 20-30 kids in a highschool group was something totally new for me. I often thought about Jesus and his 12 disciples over the past two years. The small group that did life together and walked through both triumphs and trials. Life in the location of the church I was working with was nothing like what I grew up knowing. Not to mention mainstream technology our youth is growing up with today. Students have access at their fingertips while most of us had to wait for our computers to dial up, just so we could send an “instant message” to a friend.
Society and culture has a big impact on us all, especially the younger generations.
Let’s go back real quick to when I was first called into ministry. In Bozeman Montana I had a friend who suggested I lead younglife! An organization not affiliated with any church or specific denomination. Their main goal and mission is to preach the good news of Jesus Christ our savior who died for our sins. The ministry is based on establishing relationships before earning the right to be heard. When I thought about working with high school students at first it honestly did not sound appealing at all. Girls were mean in highschool and everything seemed so dramatic.
I said yes to something I was hesitant about at first and it ended up changing my life.
I began leading YoungLife in Montana and when I moved back to California I reached out to the area director. This next part might sound weird or crazy to those who don’t believe in a higher power, but when I tried to pursue leadership through YoungLife in California I kept hearing the Lord say “no”. It wasn’t an audible loud voice that was telling me no, it was an assurance of feeling like this wasn’t the place for me to be.
A couple months later I ran into an old friend who recommended me to this job. I told her I had taught preschool for multiple years and I was looking into children’s ministry or preschool directors positions. She suggested I get in contact with a church she knew about in search of a youth ministry director. I figured with my YoungLife experience and my passion for leadership this job could potentially be a great fit. I understood now why the Lord had said “no” to my YoungLife pursuit. Little did I know the journey I was about to embark on over the next 23 months.
My students taught me: time is valuable, pizza is always a good idea, and community is important.
Middle school and highschool students have a way of reminding you to appreciate the small stuff. They simply want people who want to do life with them. Someone (who is not their parent) that will hang out with them and give them advice. Someone to listen to their troubles and remind them there is someone bigger, watching over every moment of our lives.
My students taught me age is just a number and at the end of the day we all want to know someone genuinely cares about us.
Honestly y’all thanks to God I have a serious passion for the youth of our nation. If you are a young adult reading this I would encourage you to get involved with the youth in your area. Especially if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. We are called to go and make disciples and what better way to do that than investing time and energy into the next generation.
I bet you would be surprised about how much a millennial can teach you. If you stick around you will no doubt hear more about what I’m learning from students across the nation.
Thanks for buzzin by 🙂