Thursday, September 22, 2011

If I was in MY Youth Ministry

To Mary Norton, Youth Minister of over 8 years:

-I would NOT have been a student leader in your youth group.

-I would have attended your Wednesday night Bible study about 2 times my entire JH/HS career.

-I would, however, have been to Sunday School about once every month or three because I'd spent the night before at my friends house whose parents insisted I go with them if I spent the night! (Thank you, Greer family!)

-I would have attended your "special events"...well, some of them. I went to a D-Now once and camp once because my best friend invited me and someone else paid my way. Oh, and a 5th Quarter once too.

-I was the fringe kid in your youth group, at best. In high school, I drank and dated the wrong guys. Even though I knew it was wrong. Even AFTER I became a Christian. Yes, I was THAT frustrating kid who doesn't live like I'm saved. (until my senior year, and even then, I was less than stellar at times)

-I'm the kid you never visit. I'm sure you have your reasons; parents intimidate you, I live inconveniently out of city limits, I don't talk much at your church and never have to you personally other than a reciprocal "hi."

-I would have been very involved in my school's Christian club, but my church membership was no where. In fact, I didn't get baptized until a week before my high school graduation...2 years after I "got saved."

-It took until my senior year for me to start making ANY kind of lasting change in my life, to start reading my Bible, to learning how to really talk to God without using memorized words, to tell others about what God was doing in my life...
But when it started, it was AMAZING!!! And grew, it took root, and grew, and grew bigger than I'd ever understood, bigger than the box I had Jesus in, bigger than my friends' faith who dropped out of church and forgot about Jesus in college...

It took root so much, that I became a Youth Minister.

Dear Mary, do NOT forget or neglect *that* student in your youth ministry. One day, they may just be a youth minister -if they ever let Jesus get ahold of their heart. And it may take until their senior year. But don't give up on them. Ever.
Your Teenage Self

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