Some Wednesday nights I get back from my time with the Middle School Ministry (MSM) feeling pretty disappointed. Maybe the game didn’t go as well as I had planned or my small group didn’t want to share what was going on in their lives. There have been several times in which I have thought that none of my eighth graders were growing or processing what we had discussed.
I wonder if my efforts to train youth is a worthwhile use of my time.
Those thoughts, I believe, occur to everyone who leads a small group, and God certainly responds to our frustration.
Last week, the leader of our 7th grade girl’s small group informed me about one of her students, Nohemí, sharing her faith at school. Apparently other students seek her out for her Christian wisdom so much so that she had been dubbed the “Christian Advice Girl.”
Typically I hear stories of students ridiculing their Christian peers at school so I was surprised to hear of Nohemí’s resoundingly positive success. I spoke with Nohemí and her small group leader to find out more.
Nohemí’s friend came to her seeking advice about a boy. It was in that moment that Nohemí figured it would be a good idea to share what she had been learning at MSM. She started by encouraging her not to seek affirmation about her self worth from a boy and went on to explain that because we are made in God’s image we are already valued by Christ.
After their conversation, Nohemí’s friend started coming to First Baptist Lakewood to experience MSM for herself. Though her friend has not yet accepted Christ, Nohemí believes she is learning a lot and still very interested.
Alan, our Middle School Pastor, encourages us to equip our students to initiate those conversations with their friends and be sharing Christ with those around them. Nohemí is a great example of what it looks like to do this. By simply sharing the insight that God has revealed to her with one of her friends, she’s already making an impact on her campus.
I left my conversation with Nohemí and her small group leader feeling immensely fulfilled. I am reminded that even when I feel like all my efforts aren’t enough, God is still working in our students lives and continually growing their passion for His glory.