Being a youth group leader has been one of the wildest rides into myself I have ever taken.
When I got saved I wanted to tell the world to conform to Christ ….more like conform to what I thought was Christ – called a lot like me. Let me explain that statement. When I join a cause, when I what you call “buy in” to something I am IN…meaning I don’t give up. I work hard to learn, conform -otherwise known as let myself be changed by the values, principles of the cause. In this case I started out in a very fundamental branch of Christianity. It was all business, very serious, you watched your p’s and q’s and by golly you kept you legs covered. I thought this is HOW to be a Christian and so I propagated it. This is the right way…But only following hard after Him and His voice calling to your very depths is where the right way is found. It looks different for each. He is fully personal and personalizes and writes our story daily. If you knew my history you would understand why God placed me in this group of Christians for what I now have come to lovingly call BOOT CAMP! I no longer buy into that branch of Christianity. I buy into Christ. I changed location as I felt led to leave. And I submit my way to His leading ….
I had kept a few things that have helped me from that strict beginning. Seriousness. Focus. Regimented study….when the chime of some notification isn’t calling, or the dishes for that matter and the cotton pickin’ laundry. None of which are bad for me to do.
I want to be a good leader. I want to teach them well. I cant do that if I sound like the clear eyes for dry eyes guy on the commercial. They tune me out. I take what I do very seriously and I have had to learn to be serious about JOY. Be serious about weaving the heart of God into the fabric of each word….the stern and the light. They love to laugh and have a good time. Not all learning is evidenced by furrowed brow serious debate and exposition. They are not interested in long explanations of a trail of thought leading to a great truth. They are interested in the Love I say He has for them worked out in the life I live with them.
They understand I enjoy them when I smile at them when they speak to me. They understand when I get silly with them that I don’t think I am better than they are. They understand I love them when I allow them to be who they are, where they are as we work out where we are going together.
I have slowly been working on how to marry my seriousness with my silliness to create a learning atmosphere in joy and focus. Making small changes as God leads me. I have had to call on the times when my sister and I would laugh until we cried. What girl wants to ugly cry face in front of so many? Well this happens in the car when I am dropping some of them off -lol. Remembering when I enjoyed making others laugh as a child it was a highlight and a joy. When I would dance and act out scenes in movies when I was a kid to connect some ones heart to what I was trying to show them. Sing silly songs and say nonsensical things. I basically have had to remember what it is like to LIVE JOYFUL and FUN! You know …let the wind blow in your hair, smell the roses, not sweat the small stuff kind of stuff.
The best part is I am having a good time building relationships- teens that snapchat with me during the day, Message me on facebook when they are stressed, Post photos on my facebook. Snagging my phone and leaving photos on it for me to find later. (like that first one at the top)
And I LOVE IT!