Saturday, May 30, 2009

Believing in students...

I would have to say that the single best reason that I spend time investing in students is that my youth pastor put time into me. I remember being the new kid at youth group and I was there solely because I knew there would be girls – and there were! It was awesome. However, as I spent time with the youth group and became more involved, the youth pastor spent time hanging out with me. And I thought that it was all just whatever whatever. You know, he did it because he had to. I would find out years later that there was a much different plan for him and the other leaders in the group.

That plan was to help me reach my potential. The cool thing is that we all have potential, and it is just a matter of attaining or missing it. My leaders and youth pastor were determined that I, and all of the other students in the group, were going to and the very least be given the chance to reach our potential in JC. As I came up through high school I was eventually feeling good about my relationship with Christ, as I had accepted him as my personal Lord and Savior mid-high school. And then I ended up on the leadership core team with a few other students. And when I say a few, I mean just that. We were the small youth group in town.

There were other churches in the area that were a lot bigger than ours and sometimes I wondered why they had more kids than we did. And it wasn’t about the numbers, but more about my curiosity of what they were doing different than we were. So, one day I asked my youth pastor, with whom I had become very close. He laughed and appreciated that I was so candid. And then we had one of those serious moments. I bet he would prolly not even remember saying this to me, because I could tell that the next words that came out of his mouth was more than just a sentence, but a vision! He said to me, “MO, you stick with me and we will change lives together.” Wow! That was it. That was all I needed to hear.

You see, I believed him because I knew that he believed in what he was saying and more than that I knew that he believed in me. And that is what I needed – someone to believe in me. He had up to that point spent countless hours investing time into my life through coming to my sports stuff, other extra-curricular activities at school, being there for me when I needed guidance, etc. And after that conversation he continued to do so. The funny thing is that our group over the next few years grew like mad. I graduated from high school and came onto staff under him. I continued to believe in his vision and message and still do to this day.

Now, a thousand miles away he still puts time into me on a weekly basis and more if I need. And believe me, I need it. Here is what I am getting at… I am dedicating my life to changing others and believing in them because guys like him believed in me. Who believes you? Whose vision are you grasping on to? Like John Maxwell says, we need to add value to others each and every day. And that is what we get the privilege to do as youth workers...

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