March 28, 2019 | Articles by Amy Massey
I have served with youth during the Sunday school hour and during Youth Group. Prior to this, my experience was with Children’s Ministry, where I served in roles ranging from Sunday School Leader to Vacation Bible School Volunteer Coordinator. I was a little nervous about serving with Youth because this is a complicated age group with unique, sometimes hot button issues. How would the Youth receive me? Would I be able to relate to them? Could we create a relationship where we could be real?
Christ Church has recently made a lot of changes in its approach to Youth Ministry. I came in while these changes were being implemented so I probably didn’t perceive as much of a difference as others who have been here for a while. Therefore, it was easy for me to jump right in and give it a whirl. What I have experienced is the freedom to see what works, the freedom to learn from mistakes and the opportunity to really connect with young people. We aren’t following a boring curriculum. The Bible is our curriculum. We are looking to the Word and figuring out what that means for us. I think that it’s good for me to hear a younger person’s perspective on a particular story or verse and it’s also good for Youth to see what it means to me. It could be similar or totally different. We have become free to engage with God in a very personal way, and to share what we feel within a respectful space. We are learning about God from each other and seeing him through one another.
One part of Youth Ministry where I have really connected with the Youth is within my Journey Group. In this group we have an opportunity to share and discuss whatever is on the hearts and minds of the group members. Recently, we had a really deep conversation about this spring’s General Conference of the United Methodist Church. I was pretty nervous as this discussion evolved, given the personal nature of the topic. I quickly realized that this was an amazing opportunity for our kids to learn how to communicate about sensitive issues with confidence, while being respectful of people with different viewpoints. It’s hard to remember that this is a skill that adults have somehow picked up along the way, if they have it at all! I was blown away by the trust these youth have in one another, and in their ability to show Gods love even if they can’t agree on something.
After that session, I was totally convinced that we are doing something right. God was absolutely in the room that night. In our words and in our hearts.
I am so thankful I was asked to work with Youth at Christ Church. Like I said before, I was anxious about whether I was what they needed and if I could make a difference. I was missing the point. What I have learned is that God uses us for his good when we open our hearts and minds to Him. All I needed to do was to let go of the pressure to create something great at Youth group. That isn’t my job. That’s God’s job and he is blowing it out of the water!