I found a prayer journal entry from august 2008 saying that i was scared about high school group & praying that i wud like it more..God definately answered that!
This is a girl who went through our high school ministry, plugged into small groups, was on our student leadership team for 2 years & serves in the church. Notice that she was a typical student nervous about plugging into our student ministry her Sophmore year.
I need reminders like this text I got for two reasons:
1- It encourages me for the long haul. Youth ministry is NOT A SPRINT. It is a MARATHON in terms of effectiveness, changes & momentum. Often people, parents, pastors & youth workers think that change happens quickly. I think those people don't live in reality. Change that is healthy and sustaining in life does not happen over night, it takes some time. This girl spent 3 years in our ministry and I am sure it took all three years of experiences, leading & being cared for that allowed her to have a great student ministry experience.
2- Students are nervous about the experiences they expose themselves too. We need to remember WHERE THEY ARE AT in life & not where we think they are at. The only way is to get to know them and spend time listening to them. Two weeks after this girl first walked in the doors of our student room she was in the living room of one of our leaders & had coffee with another leader. All three experiences helped her see that our ministry truly cares for students & is here for them.
I love longevity in youth ministry, it allows me to see what the long haul does in the lives of students.