For me the School of Innovative Youth Ministry has been about my heart growing bigger with compassion for people. Especially those with young hearts and faces. SOIYM for me is being filled with courage and confidence to fulfill my destiny. It’s standing in the gap for a hurting teenager and leading against the cultural flow. It’s understanding the world I live in. And more than anything, its doing life with people.
Last week I spent time in two different high schools. I saw hundreds of faces. I heard questions and played games. And I found myself losing my heart to a generation on the verge of adulthood. Do they know they are loved? Do they know their names are written on the palms of His hands?
A 16 yr old student asked me “Why would you believe in God? Why?”. His curious eyes betrayed the defiance in his voice. He shot a volley of questions at us and seemed unimpressed with our answers. And yet he lingered still in the classroom, until he couldn’t stay a second longer.
I want more of this. Every day. For the rest of my life. I want to have ‘in jokes’ with cheeky year eight boys. I want to smile at the shy school girl across the classroom. I want to answer questions. I want to see young people experience God’s presence, even when they deny His existence.
I’ve learned so much in the last two months. I’ve been challenged on my values. I’ve heard lectures about youth culture and post modernism. But what has stuck with me the most? Embrace each moment you have with a young person. Laugh with them. Share stories. Because they are so worth it. They are worth every second of your time.
SOIYM 2012 Student
Right: Chloe & other SOIYM sharing in a high school