Guided by Christ
February 1, 2016
I realized last night after showing the youth group the film “To Save a Life” how much I’ve learned from my previous youth pastors/ministers. A mere 5 years ago, I was a junior in High School sitting in Old Bethel’s Fellowship Hall watching the film “To Save A Life”. I remember the filming raising a lot of questions and it disturbed me how truly alone some people can feel in this world. You would think that in a world of over 7 billion people that there would always be someone for some one to fall back on. However, not everyone feels that way. I believe this film played a significant role in opening up my heart and putting me at this church today. So after 5 years, I went from being a student watching the film to an adult showing the film to students.
I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve taken a few pages from my previous youth pastors. Over the years I’ve been graced with some phenomenal youth leaders. As a sixth grader I was exposed to the mystery of youth group. Youth group contained outrageous events like Jell-O Wrestling, inflatable relay races, bonfires, and scavenger hunts. With the departure of my first youth pastor a new one arrived from England and I was shown a different perspective. Not only did I play new games like (roof ball, a unigue dodgeball, and water wars) but I was exposed to youth friendly worship experiences, retreats, and mission trips. I also remember accepting Jesus as my savior, but I didn’t really know what to do with that. As I transitioned to high school my youth pastor changed once again. She was my first female youth pastor and I can remember not knowing how to interact with her, how could she replace my previous youth pastor? A we got to know each other a little better I began to learn what it meant to live out a faith life. I went from a quiet and shy kid, to a leader who wasn’t afraid to answer questions, to pray in front of others, or to volunteer when an opportunity to arose. This youth pastor also helped me realize my calling and has helped me through many trials that have come my way. As a senior in High School I was exposed to a couple more youth pastors that I just gained additional information from being around them. Throughout this journey I’ve also created many friendships with youth, volunteers, parents, and other youth pastors/ministers.
I may never know what kind of impact I may have on the youth at Hagerstown First United Methodist Church, but what I can do is expose them to what a relationship with Jesus can do in their lives. I’ve had a lot of amazing relationships, but I’m sure that all of them would say that they couldn’t do it without Jesus. So my hope as the family minister here is that much like my past leaders that I may also be able to point my new students to Jesus and let him guide them as he has guided me. As a sixth grader I would never have realized that I was being led by Christ but now I can say he was and still is with me today.