Sitting in my office today and contemplating on how youth group went last night, I can say with full confidence that it was an awesome night. In both Jr High and Sr High we talked about Baptism, answering the questions of “what is baptism” and “why do we baptize”. The discussions in both youth groups seemed to go really well…there was a lot of interaction and discussion. We had really good numbers in both youth groups last night, with visitors in both groups. No one was hurt during game time. In Sr High the Praise Band had some new members playing for the first time, and the Creative Team showed its first video project as part of my lesson.
And what was by far the best part is the fact that after Sr High youth group, 3 students acknowledged their need for a savior and prayed to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! One of my Student Leaders led them in the “salvation prayer”, and then I had the chance to talk with them about the decision they had made, as well as give them a bible, talk about where to begin reading, and set up a time to meet with them to begin discipleship. What a great ending to a great night!
Last night I went to youth group feeling a little unprepared. It had been a week where I was just not able to put in as much office and prep time that I like to put into planning for youth group. So when I arrived an hour before youth group to make final preparations and set up, as is my custom, I just didn’t feel as comfortable and prepared as I like to feel. During youth group, both Jr High and Sr High, I had the feeling that there was not a good flow to the night…things felt choppy. I have always been big on wanting to create a good flow in youth group as much as possible, and it just seemed like that was happening last night. It also seemed like the students were a little more restless than usual.
And then, after youth group had ended for the night and I was talking with students before they headed home (and at the same time thinking through all the things that I felt hadn’t gone as well as I would have liked), a Student Leader came up to me and very excitedly told me that she had been talking with 3 people about salvation, and they were ready to accept Jesus as their savior. So I went over with her to these 3 students, allowed her to lead them in a prayer for salvation, and then talked with them afterwards about the next steps.
There I was, feeling like things weren’t going as well as I would have liked them to…and at the same time God was doing an amazing work in the lives of 3 students. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with evaluating how things go and working to make everything run smoothly. The problem was that I was too focused on only that aspect of the ministry last night.
As I was driving home after youth group and thinking about all that had taken place, I was reminded of the truth that this ministry is not mine, it is his. He is the one who is in the process of drawing students to himself, and at this particular point in that process he has chosen to use me to be a part of that. But the reality is that I’m not needed…God does not need me in order to draw students to himself.
So as I sit here today, thinking about all that took place last night, I’m just so thankful that even though God does not need me, he still chooses to use me and allow me to be a part of what he is doing in the lives of other people.