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Student Ministry (Guest Post: Lily)

Good morning friends! Today I’m sharing another one of my favorite bloggers wisdom with you. Lily and I have a lot in common, both serving in a student ministry called Young Life! I’ll let her introduce herself and tell you more about the importance of loving students where they are….

 

Hey all! Before I jump into the main content of this blog post I just wanted to give you a quick intro about myself. My name is Lily, I am a 21 year old living in colorful Colorado with my Fiancé, Jared, and our beagle pup, Rizzo. I love all things health, wellness, outdoors and performing arts. I am passionate about student ministry because I think it’s important to show up for kids, I even met Jared on a Young Life leader’s retreat. Ministry makes my heart swell with joy and I think it’s increasingly important that we invest in youth and in students because their future matters. Thanks for stopping by to read this guest post If you like what you see, you can head over to my blog, Love Wyns for more content. And a special thank you to Ally for giving me a little space on her blog to share my thoughts. Ya’ll ready for this? Here we go!IMG_8258

I’m not going to lie… student ministry has wrecked me in ways I never knew possible. I have slept in church hallways, stayed up late counseling someone about the divorce of their parents, I’ve washed hair in kitchen sinks when there are no showers open on mission trips, I’ve wept along families and friends at funerals of young people, I’ve had all sorts of gunk thrown at me during a muck war and I have watched kids come to know Jesus. Student ministry has wrecked me but would I do every single one of those things again? Absolutely. See, I don’t do student ministry because it’s easy or because I have some awkward desire to be liked by high school students, I do student ministry because I truly believe it’s the work of Jesus. Student ministry has wrecked my heart for the better so let’s chat about why it’s so important.

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I wasn’t kidding about washing hair in a sink….

Students need consistent adults. Let’s be real and say that I am the least “adulty” adult there is, but you don’t have to have all the answers to hang out with students. You just have to show up. Showing up will do more for these kids than you could ever imagine. Show up to youth group and chat with them about their lives and you’ll be showing them Jesus. Show up to that basketball game, that play, that swim meet, and you’ll be showing them Jesus. Meet them where they are and you’ll be showing them Jesus. How cool is it that one simple thing, showing up, shows kids Jesus? The bible tells us in Luke 19 verse 10 that “the son of man came to seek and to save the lost” this is said after Jesus’ interaction with Zacchaeus the tax collector. Jesus didn’t wait for Zacchaeus to come to him, he sought him out and came to his house for dinner. So let’s seek out students and buy them Starbucks (because that’s clearly the modern day equivalent). Kids need adults to show them that they are loved and important and all you have to do is show up. I could honestly probably stop talking right there but, I’m a talker so here’s some more insight for you…

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Yes, I am shorter than all of my students. You learn to live with it.

How do I know that students need this kind of love? Sure, I’ve been a leader and I have seen this type of consistency to get kids to come to church, to get kids to study the bible, to get kids to get baptized, to get kids to lead other kids, but the real reason I know that the whole consistent adult thing is true is because I was a student once too. I was a student at the very same church I later was a student ministry intern at, I grew up in the youth group scene and loved it. I didn’t drink or party in college or high school because of what a youth leader said to me my freshman year of high school. I am a testament to how showing up for kids works. I am who I am today because of the fantastic leaders I had in my life. I am a leader today because of the fantastic leaders I had. I believe in Jesus because leaders have shown me Jesus. Jesus was tangible to me in high school because I was surrounded by adults being the hands and feet of the Lord. So trust me when I say that showing up is everything.

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High school me, serving with college leader Brianne

Student ministry is awesome because you get to bring kids to Jesus but it’s also amazing because Jesus will become real to you as you do his work. Now, I recognize that not everyone is called to student ministry but if you feel that tug on your heart, run to those kids and never look back. I promise you’ll never regret it. It’ll wreck you but it’ll wreck you in all the best ways.

I’ve never experienced Jesus in such a powerful way as the time I first served communion to students. I was a student ministry intern and I loved those kids (still do and always will by the way). As I served them communion, the spirt overtook my soul. Not my heart, my soul. I wept as I saw student after student come to remember what their Jesus had done for them. I cried knowing that they were radically loved by both me and by the Father. I experienced Jesus that night alongside them and I’ll never forget it. So yes, you’ll find that in ministering to young people, your relationship with Jesus changes as well. Your love for his people will grow and flourish and that’s the best thing ever.

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In a time where depression runs rampant, suicide rates increase and bullying is at an all-time high, students need Jesus. They need you to show them Jesus. In a time where kids don’t know their worth, they need you to show up. In a time where going to church is the last thing a student wants to do, they need you at their basketball games or taking them out to lunch. These students need leaders and it’s our calling to make disciples. So if this blog has tugged at your heart in any way, shape or form, I encourage you to reach out to your church or your local Young Life ministry and get involved. Go show up for students, go show them Jesus.

Xo,

Lily

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