Last week we begin looking at 4 words that will hopefully challenge and encourage us as we minister to teens, beginning with the word “Walk.”
This week I want us to consider the love we have for students. I’ve challenged our students over and over to 1) Love God, and 2) Love People. As we unpack what it looks like to love people we should strive towards loving people with the heart of Christ. It changes things. It changes how we view people, how we invest in people, and how we live out the love of Christ in our lives as we share that love with them.
Consider our students… I believe when God calls someone to serve in a specific ministry in the church He begins to give them a heart that is bent towards those being ministered to through that specific ministry. If God calls you to serve in the nursery, He puts a burden/passion in your heart to love and nurture those babies. The same goes with senior adult ministry, children’s ministry, collegiate ministry, grill team, food pantry, student ministry, etc.
So, what does it look like to “Love our students”? I think it’s simple: Love them like Jesus does. This is more than an admiration/love from afar, it’s investing… getting to know them (more than their name). Loving our students is having conversations. It’s interceding before the Almighty Father on their behalf when they don’t even know it. It’s being an encourager, a motivator, an intercessor, an advocate, a refuge, a brother/sister. It’s viewing them as more than a Sunday School commitment, or a Wednesday night burden. I often times lose focus and have to be reminded that God has chosen YOU and me, for whatever season of life these 60+ students are in, to lead them closer to Jesus… to use whatever capacity (Sunday School, Wednesday small groups, camp, etc.) to invest, build relationships, and make Jesus greater in their lives.
Loving our students means we recognize that some of them are currently bound for hell because they have not chosen Life.
Let me share with you what Jesus often reminds me of: I screw up a lot… I disappoint my Father daily… I’m far from perfect… but I have a purpose… In spite of my stupidity and my past, the Father wants to use me to bring glory to Him… The same thing goes for His students that He puts in our care: they’ll screw up, they’ll disappoint you, they’re far from perfect, but God has a purpose for their life and He wants to do great things through them. You have been chosen for such a time as this to Love Students Closer To Jesus!