BUILDING COMMUNITY IN YOUTH MINISTRY
My good friend, Paul, posted a video on Facebook a few months ago of one of the first events we did with our preteen & middle school guys way back in 1999. It was a wrestling event modeled after a live WWE event. So much fun!
Many of the students who attended the event saw the Facebook post, and the comments blew up. We all remembered how awesome it was, but I think it went deeper than that.
Now in their early 30’s those students were transported back to a special season of their lives. A time when they were a part of a community of peers who were all doing life together with God in the picture. A community of people who accepted one another as-is. A safe place they could be seen, known, and celebrated. A group of students who were constantly praying for each other, and an environment where God showed up on a regular basis.
Isn’t that the kind of environment we all want to create in our youth ministry? Yes, I think it is.
Through those Facebook comments I was able to reconnect with many of those students. I was also able to reconnect with my early days of ministry.
Now, I’m serving as a youth ministry volunteer at Light Church in Encinitas, CA. It is a new youth group and most of the students attending are in middle school. They’re about the same age as the ones who attended that event in 1999.
It reminds me how grateful I am to help make memories with a new group of students, 22 years later. I am so excited to help Josh & Ambar, the youth pastors, and our team build a community of students who love Jesus and love each other. My heart is full of joy, and my passion for pointing students to Jesus is alive and well.
I’m so humbled that God is speaking and continues to show up!
My prayer is that you build a similar community in your youth ministry, and that your passion for connecting students to Jesus and one another continues.
Keep up the great work your’e doing!
Nick Diliberto, Ministry to Youth