Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The End of an Era

So as of this week, Derek and I are no longer young life leaders. {tear} Young Life is an organization we love, that we were both involved in in high school, and have devoted the past 9-10 years of our lives volunteering for. To no longer say that we are young life leaders is definitely weird.

There is a lot I could say about it, but basically it came down to the issue of we simply felt we were spreading ourselves too thin. Derek runs the recreation ministry at our church. Having a full time job that is a ministry (as well as the running of a small business) and then volunteering his time outside of work to a very time intensive ministry was exhausting, and it prevented Derek from doing the ministry side of his job well. I've also become increasingly frustrated with my inability to be at LCA as much as is necessary to really build relationships with students. So after a lot of prayer, we both felt that God could use us more effectively serving the church.

We still aren't sure how exactly this is going to look. Like I mentioned in my last post, we're coaching a soccer team, and hope to be intentional in building relationships with the girls on our team, as well as their families, and hope to be able to share Jesus with those who don't know Him. We both will also stay involved in the lives of students we have met through Young Life, through leading Bible studies, and continuing to hang out with students that we know and love.

One thing we do feel really passionate about is bringing the model of Young Life to the church. When it comes to sharing your faith, a lot of people either don't do it all, do it because they feel like they have to but don't really like to do it, or think they have to set up some sort of even for people to come to so someone else can share.

The model of ministry that Young Life uses is based on what Jesus did. It is about going to people, entering their world, building relationships, and inviting them into relationship with Jesus. We share Jesus because He is the best thing that has happened to us, and when something awesome happens to you, don't you want to tell other people about it? It's not about trying to convince anyone of anything. That is not our job. It is lovingly offering others the same hope that we have. And if it's not for them, we continue to love them and let them know that they are valued.

The ministry of Young Life is for middle and high school aged students, but the way it is done could be applied to anyone. You can enter people's worlds, build relationships, love them and share Jesus with them anywhere. At your job, at the gym, a playgroup that your kids are in, etc. The model of Jesus' ministry was to go to people. He came out of heaven to earth. He entered our world. So often, I think churches just want everyone to invite people to their service, or to come to them. We are excited to hopefully be an example of what it looks like to do ministry the way Jesus did it.

So it's a bit of a crazy time for us. We're not quite sure how specifically we are going to get involved at church, we have no idea what our lives will look like this time next year. But we're taking a step out in faith, and hoping that God shows us what He has for us next. It's a little bit exciting and terrifying all at the same time. God is good though, and we are trusting in the plans He has for us.


Callie Nicole said...

Ph, I know how much you loved Young Life, but if it was getting to be too much I think you did the right thing! And I know the Lord will use you as you get more involved in your church ministry!

Jennifer said...

I know it's bittersweet, but I'm excited to see what the next, new chapter holds for you both!

I also love how you applied the YL model to all areas of life, so true!

Tracy said...

It is easy to feel like you are closing a door and opening a window, when in fact the door will still be ajar, with all the people you know and love from young life still coming in and out, and you will be opening another door to more people to know and love!

the Poston's said...

oh friend, it has been a joy and honor to serve kids on the battlegrounds through yl with you. The amount of girls at Lafayette, and LCA that God has used you in is incredible. I'm so excited for you to take it into the church, to stretch and encourage those around you and love little kids and show them Christ; ALL FOR JESUS.

you rock.