Sometimes you come across situations that can make what one does volunteering in youth ministry seem like it’s all for naught, and other times the little part that you play in a persons life while volunteering makes it all worth it.
For instance, this past Sunday I was confronted by one of my boys who brought a friend. His request to me was to “bring him into our small group because he’s not found one yet.”
Normally, I would walk him over to an area with some people who would help him “connect” with other students who go to the same school as him, but since his friend brought him I thought it would be best for him to hang with our group and we can deal with it later. This Sunday’s group was led by my other 2 co-leaders since I was sitting in for another group, but after church let out I made it back over to see how they were doing. I was worried that by not letting him go through “the system” he might not be able to connect long-term with people who go to his school.
So I walk over and see that the new guy seemed to be fitting in. He even asked if he could come to our pool party later on in the day. So we gave him the address and we all went on our way.
Fast forward a couple of hours, and we’re all over at the pool. I was able to have a conversation with the father of the new guy and he said that in the past 5 years they could just not get this boy connected to any small group, and they really hope that this works out for him.
Fast forward another few hours after tossing the boys in the pool, eating pizza, then going home. Just before going to bed I get this email:
Ben, thanks for having our son. He had a blast. For the first time, he felt like he belonged in a small group.
Here we have a persistent father, with such a simple statement that I believe will have a profound meaning for this boy’s future.
What’s even more special about this is even though the father emailed me, I really played such a small part in this whole ordeal. The 20 minutes after the message that was spent in our room in conversation as a small group was facilitated by my coleaders who I mentioned earlier, while I was helping another group. The experience this boy had in there with them was enough for him to feel comfortable enough to want to come hang out later in the day, and ultimately join or small group. I can’t even begin to express how much this means to us, and our small group. More importantly, how much it is going to mean to him.
This is what it’s all about folks.