Christi and I have been a part of CFC since 1995 (although I was involved with Pastor Dick in a Bible study back when I was in high school and he married Christi and me in 1984). In that time, I have served as a deacon, elder, and even as an associate pastor. But of all of the ministries I have been involved in, nothing has been as rewarding as my involvement with the Youth Ministry.
Whether teaching Promised Land, chaperoning one of the youth retreats, or helping out with VBS (Vacation Bible School), as I’m doing this week, there is nothing like seeing our youth getting excited for Jesus. And it never ceases to amaze me how much our kids know about the Bible. Whether it’s from the Old or New Testament, if you ask them about a story in the Bible, someone in the group is sure to be able to tell you about it - and with an excitement unparalleled by most adults.
Being a group leader for VBS (as opposed to teaching a class), I get to spend the entire time with the same group of kids all week long. As a result, I am blessed to be able to develop what I hope will be long-lasting friendships with some of the kids. The first year I did VBS, I had a young man named Edmond Bunner in my group. He and I really hit it off, and to this day, I look forward to him (and his sister and two brothers) running up to me and giving me big hugs on Sunday mornings. Even the kids who come to VBS whose families don’t belong to CFC remember me each summer when VBS rolls around, and I them, because of the bonds we form during that one week.
But aside from the friendships developed and all of the fun we have, the greatest joy is in knowing that I am playing a part, no matter how small, in helping these kids to establish a relationship with Jesus, or to grow in the relationship they already have. Christi and I may not have any kids of our own, but I like to think that the Lord is using me to help raise up the next generation of Christ-followers.