Like a Sponge

Working with teenagers for about seven years was great! I felt there was nothing in ministry that could be compared to it. Then I began working with college age young adults. It was then that I realized what youth ministry was really about.

Working with teenagers was about mom and dad making young people come to church and sit in your class with that wonderful smile of joy on their face. Taking them on trips feeling like a babysitter making sure everyone behaved. Handling money for them so when it came time to eat they actually had money to eat. Working hard to build a relationship with young people who are at an awkward stage learning how to be around people and act normal.

This may sound mean but that is not the intention at all. I know every teenager does not fit this stereotype. There are some tremendous teenagers who love God and want to grow in their faith. I still love working with teenagers and believe youth ministry is vital to their lives and our countries’ future. I would go back and work with teenagers in a heartbeat….well….wait a minute…

There is nothing like working with single young adults. These young people don’t show up because mom and dad forced them to, they come by choice. There is no more babysitting and handling money. The opportunities to build relationships are tremendous! The best way I know how to describe this age group is like a sponge. They are soaking up everything within their environment. Not because they are forced to, but by choice. That is an amazing attribute to see in young people’s lives, by choice.

College students come to Bible study by their choice. They meet for outreach events by choice. They allow you into their lives by choice. This age group is so open to you pouring your life into theirs. Their hearts and minds are wide open for true biblical discipleship.

This is why I love campus ministry. The students are serious about their growth. They are serious about having their questions answered. They are serious about building relationships with mentors. They are at a stage in life where they are processing everything they have learned in life and the culture pressures all around them. They are soaking up the environment around them like a sponge. Many of these students are seeking a strong Christian influence to help shape their lives. If you long to do true biblical discipleship then this ministry is for you. Will it get messy? Of course, this is life and people. Will these young adults let you down at times? Yes! Is it worth it? Worth every ounce of time and energy!

College students are making life altering decisions at this age about many areas of life. If we are not there then these young adults are going to soak it up from somewhere. We must step up to the need of this generation because there are other groups who are taking full advantage and pouring into their lives things not of God. These are our nation’s future leaders. What an opportunity we have to influence the world for Christ by discipling these young people.

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