Last night, I was lucky enough to help out at Wyldlife club at Sharon, which is about 40 minutes from Grove. For those of you who don’t know what Young Life or Wyldlife are, let me shed some light on the subject. Young Life is a ministry for high school students, run by college students. It reaches out primarily to kids who didn’t grow up in a Christian home. The middle school ministry which is a branch off of Young Life is called Wyldlife. Until I go through first year training (every Sunday night this semester), I can’t officially be placed. But we are supposed to go to clubs to shadow leaders just so we can get a feel for what ministry we want to be placed in (Young Life, Wyldlife, or Capernaum, a ministry for disabled teens) and where we want to be placed. Even though it is ultimately the area director’s decision, it is important to see where you fit.
Before I went to help lead club last night, I was freaking out. Sharon is the most urban ministry that we have at Penn West and I had heard not to be surprised if a fight broke out before club had even started. On top of that, I had to interact with these middle school kids that I didn’t know. One of the things that we learn in Young Life is that we are portraying Jesus for these kids. In some situations, we might be the only way these kids see Jesus. So no pressure or anything right?
We pulled up and before we had even got out of the car there was already a kid there. Club didn’t even start for an hour! And thus my “contact work” began. I ended up helping to sign kids into club, and found that talking to the kids wasn’t as difficult as I had perceived. It’s just like you’re talking to anyone else. The kids are really enthusiastic and I actually found myself wanting to hang out and get to know some of them.
Once club actually began, I got a taste of some of the more minor difficulties leaders can experience. One kid pulled a chair out from under another kid and he hit his head. Some choice words were exchanged and I was worried it would turn into a fight. It didn’t. Then a kid accidentally broke his bottle of cologne (why? no idea.) on the floor. So it smelled strongly of cologne. The club talk, where the kids get a small bit of the Gospel, the kids were a bit chatty. Afterwards, all the boys started playing football and a girl got knocked over because they got so into it. Essentially it was semi-organized chaos. On top of all that, because I am so short (holla at that 5’2″ swag) I got hit on by a couple of the middle school guys. It got awkward when I had to tell them that, in fact, I was a leader…
After the last remaining stragglers finally left and we cleaned up, the team had a meeting. It was amazing to see the amount of effort that each of them put into ministering to these kids. They genuinely love and care for each of the kids that walk through the door every week. They put in countless hours driving to meet the kids before and after school and on the weekends. They spend their own personal money on food for the kids and gas to meet them. The leaders are a true testament to the amazing ministry that is Young Life. I can’t wait to be a part of it!
Last night really showed me how amazing our God is and how he can use even someone as inexperienced as me to be a good influence in these kid’s lives. He is truly amazing.
“In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. 21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”- 2 Timothy 2:20-21
I hope that this verse may provide some inspiration for the following week!
In the meantime, I’ll try and post something funny here next week. Nothing funny happened in the last week… Other than me running face first into the door of a bathroom stall Tuesday morning. But that’s a different story for a different time. Until we meet again…