Volunteer in the Youth Group? No Way!
By Christa Harrison —
Babies. They are adorable. All you want to do is kiss their chubby cheeks and make faces at them so they smile and laugh. When deciding to be involved in ministry, my first response would certainly be, “Babies!”
Nursery is an important ministry (shout out to Amie Stinson and the nursery workers) and I’m thankful for those who watch Lily on Sunday so that I can worship without distraction; yet, when it came to where I personally would end up in ministry, surprisingly, despite my love for babies, the nursery wasn’t where God would have me.
When Jason started working at Redeemer two years ago, one of the responsibilities he was given was to help with the youth group. My first response to this was not, “What an awesome opportunity for me to serve!” It was, “Why can’t I take care of babies or teach kindergarteners?” But I wanted to work alongside Jason, so ahead with the youth group I went, bad attitude and all. Now, I will say I wasn’t grumbling or gnashing my teeth, but it wasn’t my first (or second choice) to work with the youth. That is, it wasn’t until God changed my attitude and perspective. The youth are now my friends! My small group last year consisted of 7th and 8th grade girls and I learned so much about them. I love these young women! God has been teaching and encouraging me from Sunday school lessons, small group chats, and laughter during game time. Ministry isn’t meant to “fill you up,” but to walk alongside brothers and sisters in Christ and to encourage them in their walk with God. Although I’ve had to slow down a little bit with youth group since having Lily, I love to bring her on Wednesday nights. She loves the worship time and the endless chatter, and I’m so blessed that there are so many who want to hold her that they have to take turns. Even though I already knew this, I am learning again and again through this group of students that God is all-wise and knew that these brothers and sisters in Christ would become my friends. Thank you, parents, for sharing your kids with us leaders and for raising them to be role models for Lily as she gets older. The time at youth group is an opportunity to model an intimate relationship with God with openness and transparency. There is a huge need for consistent believers to faithfully disciple our students, and by doing so, they can have an eternal impact in the lives of the next generation at Redeemer. Do I want a part in that? Absolutely.