Last night our Student Ministry team welcomed twenty new volunteers into the LifeLine family. It was exciting to look around and see the fresh energy and potential. As they drove away I couldn’t help but wonder what God was going to do in each of their lives this year, and how He will use them to intersect the lives and journeys of the students we serve.
As I laid in bed last night trying to fall asleep, my thoughts shifted from the new faces, to the familiar faces. The faces of those volunteers who show up every week, year after year to give of their creativity, time, and energy to love and serve students and other volunteers in the name of Jesus. It made me wonder, with all of the challenges that student ministry brings, what keeps them coming back for more.
Scott has been around our ministry for eighteen years. In fact, when I began serving as a volunteer nine years ago, Scott single handedly ran the Jr. High ministry as a volunteer. While our ministry has grown and changed over time, Scott has selflessly served, lead and loved Jr. high students and leaders for almost two decades.
1. He loves God… and He loves students. It seems so simple, but longevity in student ministry takes constant commitment to maintaining health in your relationship with God and maintaining a passion for students. When one of these is out of place, it’s easy to feel discouraged.2. He believes that God made him for this. He believes that God has put Him where he is on purpose and trusts God to use him, even when he can’t see growth or change.3. He believes in what we are doing. He believes that the mission is greater than the politics and keeps the big picture in front of him.4. He maintains a spirit of humility and grace. If anyone would be entitled to have opinions about “the way things should be done,” it would be Scott. As a staff we realize that our volunteers are our greatest asset, so we work hard to consult their thoughts and opinions on much of what we do. While Scott often has thoughts, ideas, and wisdom to offer, he always brings them with grace and understanding. Additionally, when we make decisions as staff, he always respects them, even if he disagrees, even when we are wrong.5. He has the support of his family. Scott has an awesome wife and four very cool children. His volunteering certainly comes at their expense from time to time. Over and over again I have seen their encouragement and understanding fuel Scott on.
Jon Grunden is the Jr. High Small Group Minister at Ada Bible Church in Ada, MI. You don’t subscribe to his blog yet?