As most of you know, I have served as CCC’s Youth Discipleship Coordinator since September. I would love to tell you that I assumed this role with complete confidence and that I never made a mistake, but of course I didn’t. I had a lot to learn and still do. If I had to use one word to describe my first couple months on the job, I would say they were anxious. I worried constantly about what the next activity would be or if I was doing a good job connecting with the kids.
Then I read this verse:
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”
I was afraid because I did not believe I was already loved by the Lord. Although I would have said differently, my actions showed that I believed ministry was something I did on my own. If I worked harder, the youth program would be better and I could take all the credit. After I read this verse, I began to pray for the kids I was serving and for my own heart. I prayed that the Lord would use the time I spent with them and that he would keep my ego from getting in the way. This verse did not change me completely, but I am moving into a greater understanding that I am simply a tool the Lord is using. Because I am already loved, I don’t have to be afraid. If I make a mistake, I can pray about it, ask for forgiveness, and move on.
I still get anxious, but I have seen a difference in my heart and I have been able to watch real growth happen in the lives of the kids at CCC... This semester we are studying worship in middle school Sunday School. I have been encouraged by the discussions we have had about everything from predestination to snake handling. A few weeks ago, we were talking about the importance of community with one another and one of the kids asked, “Is that why we have youth events on Sunday nights?” I was so excited that he understood!
One Sunday night I met the middle school kids at Dunkin Donuts. As our rowdy group chowed down on donuts and threw Uno cards at each other I thought, “Those college students over there probably wonder why I’m hanging out with 5th graders, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” It has been an honor to watch these kids grow and connect with the Gospel in their own lives.