Monday, November 18, 2019

As we focus on volunteers this month, can I encourage you to look back on your journey to this point. Whether you are in full-time, part-time or spare-time ministry, you probably started as a volunteer. We can get caught up in the busyness and challenges of life and youth ministry and forget why we got into ministry.

So stop for a moment and remember how you got started, and why you got involved. Did you offer to help, were you asked to help, did you grow up into it, were you willing or reluctant? Was it something in you that stirred, or was it a leader that brought you in?

There are many paths into youth ministry. None of them better than another.

My full story is too long, but essentially as a high school student I was asked to be on the team by my youth leader. Over the subsequent years there were key moments. Prophetic words; meaningful conversations; meaningful God encounters; and an internal conviction. Those led me to Bible College for two years. I went from student leader, to youth leader, to youth pastor... then my journey took a few turns, but youth ministry stayed with me.

I look back on the full journey of my 39 years of life and the 20+ years involved in youth ministry. There have been challenges and rewards. For me, partnering with God to serve young people continues to be more rewarding.

Why do I serve in youth ministry? Because God got hold of my life, he broke my heart for young people, and I believe it is where he still wants me to be.

Remembering our story, helps us lead our volunteers, because they have a story too. Knowing their story, helps us keep them motivated in the challenging seasons. Knowing their story helps us when there is conflict or tension. It gives us insight into their heart and intentions, even if their actions, behaviours or words might not be ideal.

Today, remember your story. Thank God that he has given you this opportunity to serve him and the young people he loves.

And find some time this week to better understand the journey of one of your volunteers. Help them remember why they got involved. And you can learn what motivates them.

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