The Front Page

Welcome to the Front Page, the digital cover of the Wayne Press.  Here we will share with you things that can't be captured in our newsletter--videos, music, color photographs--as well as articles that reflect on faith and life.  

 

What I Love Most About Youth Ministry

As I returned home last night after another great youth group, I found myself reflecting on my time in ministry.  Yesterday was the last youth group, and also our senior brunch, for our graduating seniors.  I have had the privilege of ministering to this group of remarkable young men and women for the past 7 years.  It’s hard to believe that when I first came to Wayne Presbyterian as the youth ministry intern, these guys and gals were in 6th grade.  They left a big impression on me right away, and are a large part of the reason why I took the job at WPC several years ago.  I wanted to continue to love them, encourage them, support them, and challenge them here at church.  It’s amazing to remember what they were like when I first came to WPC, and to see who they are now. 


One of the youth, who I have been close with since I first started here, has been in the habit of regularly pranking me over the years.  Normally it’s all small things, like taking my sleeping bag on a retreat.  Yesterday he struck again.  We were playing a game with shaving cream, and I was cleaning up so we could all return to the church and have some ice cream, when he gets the shaving cream and starts covering my head with it.  I thought to myself, “not this time.”  I sprang into action, and grabbed the shaving cream off the ground and chased him down.  I tackled him to the ground, sat on his back and covered his head in shaving cream.  

You may say this story does little than show my maturity level, and you might be right, but it is one of my favorite moments in youth ministry so far.  I think I liked it so much because it demonstrates the closeness he and I, and so many other youth, have developed throughout the years.  I have found my favorite part of being in ministry is the relationships I have formed with the youth.  Teenagers are so wonderful to be around because they are at such a pivotal stage in their lives.  Everyone is trying to figure out who they are.  Everyone is working out what they believe.  Everyone is trying to make sense of this world that all too often is nonsensical.  To be invited into their lives, and entrusted with their deepest hopes, fears, and joys is a profound honor.  Even just being able to be a person that they can let their guard down to, and just be totally silly and ridiculous with is something that I truly cherish.  

While it will be very sad to see this class graduate, I am at the same time truly happy.  Through their parents, friends, uncles and aunts, teachers, grandparents, youth leaders, mentors, coaches (and more) these teens have become people that I truly respect and admire.  They have amazing gifts and abilities that God is using, and will use, to make a difference in this world.  I certainly have been so blessed by them. 

I would like to leave you all with is this thought: what teen or teens can you be a blessing to and be blessed by?  I am more convinced than ever that the teens of today and tomorrow need a whole network of adults (parents, neighbors, family, church members, etc.) who will support and encourage them in life.  They need people who will love them regardless of the choices they make, and people who will laugh and be silly with them.  I would be happy to talk with you about how you could get involved in doing this at church, but even if this isn’t for you, please consider how God could use you to help love the teens that are already in your life.  I can tell you firsthand what a privilege it is to do so. 

 Blessings, 

 Andrew

Posted by Andrew Hostetter at 10:00 AM
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