For those of you who don’t know, I work full time at our home church with our high schoolers. I love my job more than I could say. I get to encourage high school students in their pursuit to follow after Jesus! It has been a joy to work in a youth ministry that is Christ-centered, holds firm to the truths of scripture, and submits every decision to the Holy Spirit’s direction.
Before I was on staff, Jimmy and I attended the youth service more than we did the main services. This was mainly because we were rarely in town on a Sunday morning because of concerts and travel, but could sometimes make it back in town for the Sunday night youth service. But we also found these high school services to be just as life-giving and mature as the main services.
We immediately noticed some major differences in this youth group from many others we had visited or been to on our travels. There were no games, no hype, no big exciting giveaways. The Word of God was being taught at an adult level, studying one book of the Bible each semester. I think they were studying Hosea when we first started attending. There were also a significant number of adult volunteers that were present. It was wonderful to see so many adults involved in this ministry… serving food, greeting students as they entered, and serving as small group leaders.
We then noticed how different these high schoolers were. They paid attention to the teaching and took notes. they deeply respected their leaders. They asked questions about Old Testament books like Jeremiah and Amos that they were studying in their own time. I’ve rarely seen so much hunger for more of God in so many students in one place. Of course, Jimmy and I immediately jumped on the opportunity to disciple some high schoolers who are hungry for God. After hosting a bible study for the juniors and seniors at our house over the Christmas break in 2008, we began to disciple some of these students in the months following. Jimmy still currently disciples a handful of teenagers throughout the year.
Needless to say, it has now been a joy to now be on staff and spend more time with these students! As I’ve seen what goes on behind the scenes here, I am realizing that the simple focus of preaching the Word of God without sugar coating anything and always prayerfully submitting things to the Holy Spirit’s leading, has brought this uncommon maturity in our teenagers. It’s amazing what the Word of God will do if you just let it work. =)
I was once again blown away by the work of God in these students this past weekend. I was contacted by a senior guy who wanted to come over with some fellow students from their self-lead Bible study to help me out around the house. I wasn’t sure how serious he was, so I said he could email me if they wanted to. Sure enough, he asked me if some of them could come over Saturday.
These 9 high school seniors came over and mowed our yard, weeded the flower beds, tilled the soil, cleaned out our garage, helped me organize our garage, and disassemble some furniture we need to move out of Lively’s room. It was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ! These young guys and girls just came to serve us while Jimmy is busy traveling this month. Every one of them thanked me for the opportunity to serve me.
What a great testimony to our neighbors! What kind of teenager voluntarily gives up their saturday afternoon to do yardwork and cleaning for someone else just because they want to serve more?! A teenager filled with the Holy Spirit and being transformed by the Word of God, that’s who!
I am just grateful for the great work God is doing at our church. I can’t help but mention it tonight as I think on this weekend and the youth service I just returned from. Praise God for how His Name is being glorified in their lives! And praise God for a clean yard and clean garage!!