The other day I was reading through Matthew Chapter 4 and at the same time I was trying to think of a blog post for my first posting on Volunteer Youth Ministry. Matthew Chapter 4 talks about the start of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is gathering others to assist him in spreading the Gospel. So Jesus began looking for Bible college majors and others who had recently received their Masters of Divinity degrees….oh wait that’s not what Jesus did…Jesus walked up to two fisherman, Peter and Andrew and told them to come with Him and He would make them fishers of men.
And right at that point the first volunteers in ministry were hired! No experience, neither of them were Bible majors, both would probably tell you they are normal, broken guys just wandering through life trying to make ends meet. And then Jesus came into their lives and the rest is history.
I remember when I first got talked into volunteering with the High School Ministry at my church. I was scared to death! What if I said the wrong thing, what if they asked me a question about scripture and I didn’t know the answer? After a lot of prayer, and I mean A LOT of prayer I decided to go for it. But I still wasn’t sure this was where God wanted me. I had tried other ministries at my church and to be honest, they didn’t really dazzle me or make me feel like I was using my spiritual gifts.
I started with my first small group. Our first night together I remember telling myself, just be yourself. I’ve always had the ability to talk to anyone, and God gave me the spiritual gift of humor and sarcasm so I just relied on those and remembered that I needed to be a really good listener. After the first night I was hooked. Since that night years ago I’ve led four different groups of high school students. I currently have a group of 16 high school juniors. I’ve been with them since their freshman year and it’s been so cool to see the growth in them, not just that they are taller now, but that I see them growing in their faith and making their faith their own. It’s so cool to know I’ve been a part of that. I still run into former small group students I’ve had, a few of them are now leading their own high school or junior high groups. One of the best feelings in the world is seeing students that you loved on and poured into and now they are doing the same thing with students. I know at this point in my life, I’m right where God wants me and I found a ministry that dazzles me!
If I can leave you with one thought, here it is: Jesus uses us right where we’re at in life. He meets us there, but he won’t leave us there, He’ll stretch you and grow you. He won’t take you around trouble, He’ll lead you through it. I’m sure Peter and Andrew at first thought they were in over their heads, just like I did the first time I led students. But Jesus grew them and used them in huge ways and he’ll do the same to you…if you let Him! Can’t wait to share the journey I’ve been on with you!