Last week, I posted part one from my talk “How to Impact a Kid’s Life & Eternity”, which was a teaching I gave where I summarized what seven years in youth ministry and all that my mom taught me about shaping the next generation.
Today, we’ll continue this series by exploring what we need to KNOW to impact a kid’s life.
What Must I Know?
Psalm 71:3 – “In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress” (NIV).
God is a refuge and a rock that his people can ALWAYS GO. He is consistently there for his people. We must be consistently there for the kids that we serve.
The thing I saw hurt youth more than almost anything was a leader who said they would be there and then wouldn’t show up. You could see the hurt and damage done by inconsistency. The same is true in parenting. Some of the most challenging counseling cases was trying to help people work through the hurt of a parent who said they would be there for them and then wasn’t.
We may not be able to attend every event, but we do need to try our hardest to be true to our word. God is consistent. We reflect God’s consistency by showing up faithfully to the things we have committed to showing up to!
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. – Psalm 139:7-10
God is fully present. Where can we flee from his presence the psalmist asks! He is there and present with us. We must be not simply be present physically for the kids we serve, but we must be present emotionally as well.
We all have times in our life where we have been “present”, but not fully present because right behind our eyeballs we’re thinking about a million other things. I’ll let you in on a little something, people always know when you are not present, especially kids. Davy will literally keep yelling my name until my eyes leave my phone to meet hers.
In a world where we are constantly distracted, let us be counter culture by being fully present. Let us reflect the presence of God by being fully present with those we serve.
14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 9:14)
Lastly, we must know that kids/students/players want us to be interested in what they are interested in because it reflects care. The disciples thought that Jesus had “more important” things to do than to be interested in spending time with children. However, Jesus rebukes them and invites the children to come to him. Not only does he invite them to himself, but he tells the disciples that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them and that they must be more like them! Do you know the best way to be more like children? To spend time with them being interested in what they are interested in!
Practically, that means getting on their level, being a good listener, playing alongside, and generally being excited with them. Am I interested in the nuances of the movie Frozen or the storyline of Davy’s dolls? Not particularly! However, do you know what I am interested in? Loving and pursuing the heart of my daughter; THEREFORE, I AM INTERESTED in the nuances of Frozen and the storyline of Davy’s dolls!
For us to influence and impact the lives of youth, let us aspire to be consistent, fully present and completely interested in their lives, interests and passions!