All the Messages

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Heidi Brunsting, Communications Coordinator

My heart has been heavy recently as I have been reading local news headlines and social media posts from former students, youth interns, and mentees.  To list just a few:

  • “Former youth pastor charged with sexual abuse.” recent news headline
  • “So grateful not to be trapped by close-minded evangelical ideas anymore.  Getting rid of all my youth ministry books.  This girl is on to the next chapter!” former church youth intern social media post
  • “If you limit your understanding to a book written thousands of years ago, you are greatly deceived.”former youth student leader social media post

I have served in youth ministry for almost twenty years now and I see people who were role models to other students - who spoke truth, and life, and love into their lives.  And now the messages they are sending are the very messages they once argued to be as lies from the Enemy.  As someone who has built many relationships with students and ministry staff over the years, it is so easy to become discouraged when we see our peers and former students fall.  It is also a reminder, however, that we are all fallen people and just a step away from falling for those lies and making bad decisions ourselves.

The beauty of deep, long-term relationships with our students, however, is that our messages are not limited to the heartbreaking messages above.  There is so much to be celebrated through these relationships!  Some other experiences I have seen and shared with fellow staff members this month alone include:

  • A student who came to Christ during a Campus Life retreat will be baptized this weekend - with her mom!  She has asked her Campus Life Director to be there.
  • A former campus life student is now joining our staff as a club director herself!
  • A former student is now attending Seminary and serving in youth ministry alongside me (he is one of several over the years).
  • An invitation to the wedding of a former student.
  • Former students who reach out to meet with me every time they are back in town.

These experiences are so much more than just the letters of recommendation former students ask you to write.  These relationships are deep, meaningful, and lasting.  God is at work and he has used me and other youth leaders to live life with these kids.  They are not all happy stories but we are faithfully called to love each and every lost and hurting youth who crosses our paths, showing each one of them Jesus and trusting the Holy Spirit to do the rest. 

We need more people willing to enter into life with our students and be the person he or she remembers and seeks out years later because of the relationship that was forged.  Is God calling you to invest in the lives of today's youth? 
"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37-38

Thank you for being a part of the ongoing conversation with youth in our city and helping us share God’s story.  It's our honor to be the storytellers on your behalf who meet kids right where they are and give life to their story.  We are dedicated to introducing the love of Christ into the stories of today’s kids.

Providing young people in our community with the opportunity to make an informed decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and become part of a local church.

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