i started doing youth ministry my sophomore year of high school. i was 15 years old and i started helping out with the middle school at hillcrest. i was a gopher and i was more just continuing to live the fun days in middle school a bit more. that summer a group of seventh graders moved up from children's ministry and into the student center.
that same group graduated from high school this past week.
it's really incredible when i think about it. i've only truly worked 3 days now as a full time church employee, but i've already been fortunate enough to see a class of students go all the way through hillcrest's student minitries. that's something most youth pastors don't get to experience until 6-7 years into their career, and here i am 3 days into mine and i've already gotten to see a class grow and change and mature before my eyes.
ministry is one of those things that is difficult to quantify. you can't really assess the impact you're truly having in students' lives. you just have to keep on loving, hoping and praying that the time you've invested has truly been fruitful.
tj and i were at shawnee mission east's graduation last night to support a handful of our students. i actually had gone to tj's high school graduation in 2005 when i was in my first summer of interning at hillcrest. he was talking to me about how that's all he remembers from his graduation - how cool it was that a few of us from hillcrest had come to support him on his big day.
it's cool to think about the little things that we do every day that makes a lasting impact in the lives of others. the tiniest bit of effort from me turns into a lasting impression and a potentially changed life because of it.
and this is why i love my job. because not only do i get paid to go cheer for relish AND smear relish all over kids' faces, but i get to watch lives transform and i get to be apart of it. so cool.