There are many things in my life that I believe are important and have shaped the person that I am today. I believe that my involvement in youth ministry has played a vital role and continues to influence me in my everyday life. I feel that children should have some sort of faith base at a young age, not necessarily just doing the norm of attending church on Sundays and being involved in Sunday school. There are many other things available to youth that bring such a different vibe to Christianity and make faith a realistic and cool thing.
I currently work as a youth director at an Episcopal Church. I have been on staff for a summer Christian camp for the past three years. I was a camper from age ten to fifteen. As well as youth group and summer camps, there are many diocesan youth events that are available for the youth to attend. Many of them are run by youth so the environment is inviting and relaxing. I’ve been a part of all of these events since I was a young child and now am still a part of them as an adult. I love what it brings out in people. It is such a safe place for so many and being part of such a wonderful community is nothing short of a miracle. Every child has a story and every child has hardships in his or her life. I sure did, and I see many of the youth that I work with struggle with obstacles that I could never imagine dealing with at such a young age. Allowing them a safe entry to God and faith is amazing to me. Their passion for life and the Lord and the innocent, playful joy that they exude keeps me going on the worst of days and through the worst of times.
I was always involved in my youth group in middle school and high school and it has helped mold me into the person that I wish to become and given me a safe space through hard times. Children are subject to so many hurtful things, especially in middle school and high school and allowing them to be a part of something with such substance is what helps shape them into the strong individuals that they strive to be. I believe that children are the future and that people tend to underestimate their ability to strive for excellence and serve in their own special way. I have witnessed numerous children grow in many ways due to their involvement with youth ministry. Everyone wants to be accepted and needs a safe community to make them feel comforted and loved. They have so much to give and sometimes just need the extra push to give it.
I believe that I will continue to be amazed by youth and will continue to learn and grow from them and with them. They just need a little guidance and love along the way. Faith can be such a hard concept to grasp from just simply attending church and being told what to believe. However, with the many things that youth ministry offers to children, they see the work and love of the Lord through each other, giving them stable group when the world knows them off their feet.
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