It Matters

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Mikkee Hall

“You are mean! I am just going to put you in the trash.” My favorite little four-year-old screeched at me. It was an hour after her bedtime, and I had put her back in bed. Again. Can I confess something? It kind of hurt my feelings. Who wants to be equated with trash? In reality, she is being four in all her glory. Both in her affection and disapproval of an adult’s choices. But I want to be liked. By everyone. All the time.

Adolescents may be bigger, but they are still learning how to be functioning human beings. Their brains are still growing. Sometimes teens make others (even adults) feel alienated and like the biggest idiot in the world. Sometimes working with youth is the best gig in the world. Sometimes it can be so frustrating and discouraging that we just want to walk away.


You matter. Showing up matters. Faithfulness matters. Each week you arrive early to set up the room, stay late to talk to the upset teen, cheer them on in their sports game, hear them perform in choir – it makes a difference. You are investing in teen’s lives for the long haul, even if you never see them after they graduate high school. The work you are doing by your mere presence will be a part of their lifelong shaping. Our culture doesn’t always value and celebrate faithfulness, but every heart – young and old – long for faithful friends who show up. Even when showing up may not be so glamorous.

Our spirituality stretches through all of our lives. Your investment goes long beyond their four years in youth group. The work you do, the time invested, the ears that listen, the heart that cares – it plants deep in their hearts. Knowledge they have been seen, known and loved gives them a tangible connection that God (the Creator of the Universe) sees, knows and loves them. Even if they ignore (or wish you’d throw yourself in the trash), an investment in hearts always has a return.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

The next time you feel discouraged and are ready to quit. Consider the long view, and how the time you spend with the youth may be short, but your influence is long. 90 years long.

Mikkee Hall recently relocated to Denver via Washington DC, where she works for MOPS International as a Content Editor for their blog and magazine. She has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies. She has been a Missions Director, Intern Coordinator and Crisis Counselor, and she always loves to find ways to make a difference in lives.

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