By Montana O’Banion
Ephesians 4:11-16 calls Christians to teach and equip students to build up his kingdom while speaking truth in love. The Alsbury youth ministry has always exemplified this for me.
Planting a Seed and Watching It Grow
Coming into the youth around the 7th grade, Brian Jennings broke down all the stereotypes I had about Christianity and planted a seed in my heart for a relationship with Christ. This seed continued to grow and during a STORM weekend of 2013, I gave my life to God and this sprouted the seed and created small roots. I didn’t walk out of that weekend a solid christian, it took a lot of work and guidance. I am grateful to the youth leaders at the time who were patient and loving enough to lead me down this path. Alsbury’s youth leaders fed and watered my roots by speaking life into me every week. As I began to run in my relationship with Christ, my leaders were right there next to me every step of the way. I can honestly say, the Alsbury community has played a huge part in who I am today.
Moving from Student to Leader
Today, I am one of those youth leaders that had an impact on my life. I have the awesome privilege of sharing life with a group of girls each week. I never saw myself in a leadership role because I spent most of my life as a follower. But God has trained and equipped me to lead in every way I needed and at the exact time that I needed. This is not something I do out of debt or obligation, it is something I do out of gratefulness as well as a loving, obedient heart for my God.
Honestly, my first couple of months of teaching was stressful. Lesson were difficult to prepare for. I definitely felt inadequate. Then God opened my eyes. I should let Him lead me instead of trying to lead myself. Allowing God to speak to me each week on what to teach in my class has has filled me with confidence when speaking His truth. Today, teaching has allowed me to go deeper with Christ and be closer to Him.
Being able to grow at Alsbury as a student and then being able to pour into other students has been overwhelmingly amazing in so many ways. Growing up is hard, having hope and truth to build your life upon is everything, especially when it is the One hope and One truth in this world. Leading in the youth ministry has given me a chance to show these amazing students what it looks like to live a changed life. I want to be able to be that difference for someone, even if all I do is plant a seed in their hearts.
Be the Difference
Most of our students want a relationship with Jesus and desire community. They need caring adults to come alongside them while building relationships rooted in the love of Christ. If you have a desire to see God work in the lives of others, I challenge you to step up in obedience and join us in the Alsbury Teen Minstry, God will do the rest.