and ramblings on everything in between
A leader sits down next to me, and looks around at the lack of students in the room. “This is the most frustrating ministry I’ve ever been a part of,” she says.
“Thank you!” I exclaim. “I’m glad you said that. I’ve been a leader for five years and I still don’t feel like I’m any good at it. And I still don’t know if this is the right ministry for me.”
The two of us went on and on about how we get no where in our discussions with the teenagers, no one takes it seriously, everyone thinks we’re the uncool adults in the group.
“Sometimes it seems pointless,” she continues. “I mean – I know it’s not pointless, because if they’re not hearing about Jesus here, where are they hearing about Him? Certainly not at school.”
Skip to two days later. I’m reading my Bible, flip the page, and this jumps out at me. A note from sometime in the past five years:
If you haven’t guessed it, Fusion is our student ministry. I can still remember questioning why I signed up for the ministry. Something (i.e. God) moved my hand so fast I didn’t know what I had done until it was too late.
I’m extremely weak as a student ministry leader. But that’s the magic and beauty of it. As 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 promises, it’s God’s strength that enables me to make a difference, to show up on Sunday nights even if the girls are mentally checked out, to do life along side them and answer their late night texts.
We spent last weekend at a student ministry retreat. I stayed in a host home with 7 lovely sophomore and junior girls – beating the senior boys at challenges, running in place so one girl could win her Fibit challenge, getting our shoes muddy in the creek, and learning what it means to follow Jesus. I love these weekends with them.
I thank God for these awesome moments – when we connect and laugh and learn together. Sometimes the uplifting moments are few and far between. But they give me the encouragement I need to walk in the door the following weeks.
The most surprising moment came during a conversation with the host home dad. We were at the kitchen table, hours before the girls would wake and greet the morning. Out of the blue he told me, “You probably don’t see it, but you make a difference. I promise.”
How did he know I needed to hear that?
As a former high school leader and current college leader, he has had his fair share of frustration. “I often ask, ‘What are you guys even doing here?’ Seems like nothing gets through to them. But they’re listening. Even if they don’t show it, something’s going on in them.”
Wow. That sums it up perfectly.
So no, I don’t think student ministry is for me. And that is what makes it so awesome that I do it. It’s easy to give up when you don’t like the task. But it’s easy to persevere in your weakness when God is the one guiding you through it.