Before I was a pastor I was a youth pastor. I had the opportunity to work with teenagers for 14 years and I loved it. In fact, I always said that I would never give it up to pastor a church, of course God had other ideas and here I am today!
A question people ask me from time to time is, "Do you miss youth ministry?" My answer is always the same, "Yes, especially in the summertime." Youth ministry is like anything else, there are certain things I don't miss about it at all, but there are few things in life as fun to me as loading up a bunch of teenagers and adults and heading off to camp or a mission project. I could write a book about all the reasons I love it so much. Since most of you wouldn't read that book, and since I probably wouldn't concentrate long enough to finish that book I'll just share one reason for now.
I loved going on summer trips with teenagers because God always would use those times to get the student's attention. I know that God is big enough to get the attention of a teenager anytime He wants, and I know that a summer trip is not the only way God works in the lives of teenagers, but something special happens when you take a teenager away from their regular environment and help them focus on Jesus. I can't explain why this is, but I have seen it happen time and time again.
This week, a group of teenagers and adults from Freedom have gone to the bustling metropolis of Walterboro, SC on a World Changers project. For a week they will sleep on the floor of a classroom in a high school, eat school cafeteria food, work hard on a house in the low-country heat and humidity, experience great times of worship each evening, make new friends, and God will use all of that to speak to them about how they should live and what plan He has for them.
What does that have to do with you?
- Pray for the students and their leaders this week.
- If you have a teenager that didn't go to World Changers this year, plan now for them to be there next year. You will not regret it.
- Give regularly. I'm talking about money here. Part of Freedom's budget is earmarked for World Changers and other summer trips for our teenagers. When next year's budget is put together, we will budget a large amount to these ministries so the trip's can be affordable for an average family. What you regularly give will make a difference in the lives of teenagers by allowing them to go on a trip.
By the way, I really had a great time yesterday teaching about David and Goliath. God is teaching me so much about Himself through the story of David's life.