I’ve been in youth ministry at Xenia Naz for almost 12 years and one theme is reoccurring in my ministry here. As an adult on these trips I tend to get caught up in the schedule, logistics, and pouring into the teens and other leaders that I can get physically, emotionally, and spiritually drained. Sometimes so emotionally and spiritually drained that I have to check myself and ask if I’m doing all of this for the right reasons.
But God always has a growth point, a message, and a spiritual blessing for me by the end of each trip. These experiences aren’t just for teens, they are for a community of people of all ages to seek God’s will for our lives and pour into each other.
My GROWTH POINT was learning how to break down relational barriers by watching these teens do it on this trip. By the end, we were no longer a hodgepodge of different demographics, we were family. Each one a member of the same family.
My MESSAGE from God was to stop being so skeptical all the time. To stop seeing everyone and everything through the lens of past hurt and disappointment.
My SPIRITUAL BLESSING was freedom from the things that have had me bound. At a conference that was supposed to be for teens where I am a leader, I threw off the cloak of having to be a perfect leader and stood up in front of everyone when Reggie Dabbs gave his response time. I acknowledged my own situations and struggles and stopped putting up a front of being “fine”. We don’t have time for fake. We (adults and teens alike) need to see sincerity in each other. It seems backwards but it’s absolutely true that in our faith, vulnerability yields redemption and freedom.