Take a moment and think of “that kid” in your ministry. Every youth worker has at least “one” in their midst. They are:
Too Out of Control
Now you add yours. We want to say we “love” them always and it is a joy to have them in our group. This is what we WANT to say. In our heart of hearts though, they are “too.” If we are honest we look at them through one lens and that is who they are today. It’s true, I have looked at students and in the depth of my very small faith seen only “that kid.” What if Jesus saw us all this way? How would it affect our heroes of the faith?
Peter was too rash.
Jeremiah was too emotional.
Abraham was too old.
Paul was too legalistic.
Mary was too much of a nobody.
The Israelites were too prone to wander.
Gideon was too much of a wimp.
Timothy was too young.
David was too much of a boy, too musical, & too selfish at different points.
Mary Magdalene was too much of an outcast.
All 12 disciples were too ordinary.
Everyone that God has ever used as been “too inadequate,” including you and I.
Working in an inner city environment with “at-risk” students the reality is most of my students are “that kid,” and their parents are “that parent,” and they are “too many” things to count somedays.
This summer a volunteer asked me, “How do you live here, working with these families day in and day out and not lose hope? It seems like change is slow.” My answer was and is that I choose to see each one with the visionary eye of Christ.
For when he looked at those above Christ didn’t see the issues as much as He saw.
The Father of Nations
His man after his own heart
His woman who would follow Him always
His best friends, and the first evangelists.
It wasn’t that he “fixed” them and they stopped being “That kid.” Instead, He used them in spite of their weaknesses when they became HIS. He knew His glory would shine through each life miraculously. He has done that for me. For you.
Here is the struggle. The Bible DOES NOT say that at some point when they grow up and get it all together He will use our teens. Trust me when I say, that teens are very capable of picking a part their own short falls. In their heart of hearts they wonder if they will ever “make it” themselves. Instead, when the Lord calls us to belong to Him that is the moment He calls us into life with Him. He uses us just where we are and loves us too much to allow us to wallow in our insufficiency.
I wonder if we can ask the Lord to allow us to see our students, all of them, as Christ does: His.
How would this change the way we approach youth ministry?