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My passion for teaching does not stop at the classroom. In fact, some of my most rewarding experiences working with young people have come from my involvement at church.
Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you what an important role my faith has in my life. For me, my faith is not simply a passive system of beliefs, rather it is an active expression of who God created me to be, my relationship with Him, and the calling He has placed on my heart.
Children hold a special place in the Word. Jesus tells the disciples to let the little children come to Him. We are told that we must be like children, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet, often infants, children, teens, and young adults are overlooked. They are separated from the adults, seen as too young to make a difference. They are treated as the “future of the church”, when, in fact, they are an important part of the Body, here and now. We can learn so much from children. Every day, I find new inspiration, creative ideas, and renewed hope by working with young people. I cannot emphasize strongly enough my belief that a thriving church community starts with a commitment to strong children’s, youth, young adult, and family ministries.
Babies and toddlers approach the world with wonder and are perfect examples of how every person can stand before God in awe. We can come to our glorious God offering thanks and praise for all He has done in the world and in our lives. Like a baby discovering the toes at the ends of his feet, or a toddler experiencing a slide for the first time, we need to approach each day with a new appreciation and joy.
Children are naturally curious. They want to know more and constantly ask “Why”. We can learn a lot from children about seeking answers and coming to our Father in prayer. The Word is confusing, at times. We are faced with difficult problems and don’t always know what to do. Like children, we can turn to God with our questions. Why do bad things happen? What am I suppose to do? How can I live a more God-pleasing life? God is our Father, and we are his children…we need to come to Him with child-like faith, confident in His love and wisdom.
Teens are my favorite! Call me crazy, but I just love them! Teens push boundaries, they are disruptive, and they take risks. Wouldn’t we all benefit from a little disruption in our faith lives? Wouldn’t the church benefit from members who pushed the boundaries of their faith and took risks to boldly proclaim the Gospel? While a little rebellious, teens are also devotedly committed to their friends and faithful to the causes in which they find value. I can only imagine the change the church could have in the world if every member was devotedly committed and pursued its mission with an active faith.
Young Adults are full of hope. They see the good in the world, have confidence in their ability to make a difference, and actively find ways to achieve their dreams. Can you remember back to college? I was active in a number of organizations, truly believed that I was going to achieve greatness, passionately discussed every one of my views and beliefs with anyone who would listen, and tirelessly worked on improving myself. Where is that hope, energy, effort, and passion in our church, today? We CAN make a difference! We NEED to make a difference!
I love working with all these ages, and have been blessed to have the opportunity to share my faith journey with many youth. I have seen so many of them grow into amazing adults a close relationship with our Lord. These youth have helped strengthen my faith, and I am thankful for them in my life!