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22 reasons why I’m a youth leader

It’s a tough job, being a youth leader, no matter if you do it fulltime or as a volunteer. Sometimes circumstances make you wonder why on earth you ever wanted to be a youth leader, why you ever thought you’d be useful in youth ministry. To remind you, here’s my list of 22 reasons why I’m a youth leader:

  1. Because of that guy that had the guts to witness to a friend and led him to Jesus at the age of sixteen. His friend is now studying to become a pastor.
  2. Because of that quiet girl who sat in small group for a year, just soaking it all in. And then expressed her faith in a statement that brought me to tears.
  3. Because of that girl who’s biggest dream was to sing on a stage. And she did, for God.
  4. Because of that guy who kept asking the difficult questions, never satisfied with the easy answers and who ultimately made a rational decision to follow Christ.
  5. Because of that youth leader who had no purpose in life and little faith in her gifts and talents, until she saw she could make a difference.
  6. Because of that youth service in which the girl I’d been praying for for over two years surrendered her heart to Jesus.
  7. Because of this boy who’d always been an outcast because of his handicap, but felt accepted and loved for the first time in his life.
  8. Because of that girl that once was so lost and so broken, but now is singing God’s praises.
  9. Because of the Youth Sunday in which we celebrated what God had done in our lives, and people were lining up to share their testimony of God’s changing power.
  10. Because of that one Sunday, when five students of our small group were baptized and I needed a complete box of tissues to deal with that.
  11. Because of that girl that broke off her relationship with a non-Christian guy because she realized God wanted something better for her.
  12. Because of that sermon, when God spoke through me so clearly I could see people being touched and changed.
  13. Because of that one guy who was completely broken when he came, and whom God healed and restored.
  14. Because of the teen that had an eating disorder and was so stubborn in refusing help. But when she did, God opened her heart and He is changing her still.
  15. Because of that self-assured, popular guy who said he didn’t need a Savior, but ultimately confessed that he did.
  16. Because of that magical moment in a youth retreat when God’s presence was so tangible, it changed people’s hearts forever.
  17. Because of that girl who changed from a popular guy-magnet into a woman of God.
  18. Because of the guy who had always heard and believed that God demanded perfection from him…and then discovered grace.
  19. Because of the guy who’d grown up in church and heard the gospel hundreds of times…but when he heard the Gospel in a youth service his ears and eyes were opened for the first time.
  20. Because of the parents of a teen who were struggling with her identity crisis and who were helped by simply listening.
  21. Because of the guy who started out as a 17-year-old independent thinker and doubter in my small group and who will now lead a teen small group.
  22. Because of that young couple that came to me and confessed they had sinned sexually, but were convinced because of a youth service what they did was wrong.

Amidst all the struggles and hardships of your calling, don’t ever forget that you are being used by God to change lives for ever. We can’t always see the results of what we do in the here and now, but God uses every single act of love and mercy on our part to impact young people’s lives. So if you are feeling discouraged today, hang in there and don’t give up. God is doing a mighty work through you!

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