We are continuing to share about organizations in our life that we are personally involved with here at FDS. When I got married back in 2014, one of the pastors at our church asked Courtney (my wife) and I if we wanted to get involved with our church’s youth group as student ministry group leaders. Hesitantly, we said yes. The first night we attended to “lead” our respective groups, we both left that night seriously questioning if we were the right fit.
Believe it or not, teenagers can be really hard to connect with. Add in the aspect that we’re not their parents and shouldn’t try to act as such, it can lead to a challenging way to build relationships. Despite our continued hesitancy, we kept showing up.
Weeks turned into months, which turned into years, which resulted in watching students grow into adolescence and into their faith. Better still, what originally started out as “us helping out with students” turned into ways in which we both personally grew in our own faith relationship with God.
Every church is different. However, one common thread is that the youth group a church offers teenagers is often time set apart from the “main” service. To step back and think about it, the youth group is ultimately the future of the church. Further still, teenagers and their relationships with Jesus are the future of the Church, big “c”. So how do we encourage these students today; the future of the church?
How can you help?
Not everyone is built to work with students. But you can empower others who might be! Some of the ways that can be most helpful without directly interacting can be:
- Childcare – some of the best youth group leaders are young adults. Young adults often have younger kiddos. Making sure that their own kids are cared for on student group nights allows those young adults to be involved.
- Production/Admin – apart from the actual connecting with students piece, there’s logistical “stuff” that needs to be done. Whether it’s setting up for the evening, tearing down after, running slides or sound during service.
- Scholarships – Some of the most impactful events I’ve seen for students are retreats, summer camps, and missions trips. These trips often cost money for students to go on. Dedicating a scholarship so one or more students can attend can allow that student to meet God in an incredible way.
Of course if you’ve considered being a student group leader, I cannot say this loud enough, “DO IT!”
Personally, I am so thankful that I said, “yes” back in 2014 when asked to help serve with student ministry. Being able to watch students grow with God has been an incredible experience for my family. If you want to learn more about my own journey or find ways to get involved in a youth ministry, let me know!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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Trevore has nearly a decade helping families with their financial planning needs. He is incredibly passionate about helping folks visualize and explore what their ideal lives look like and following it up by helping them get there.