So many of us have come to know Jesus through youth work, whether it be Sunday school, youth clubs or youth camps. I remember my youth workers as people who related to what I was going through yet still showed this amazing love for Christ in both their actions and words. They dealt with situations, didn’t get angry and always seemed to know the right thing to do.
It was at a camp that I first heard of God’s love. I learnt that Jesus gave his life for me on the cross. That is massive (John 3:16); how could I ever repay him for that?
Knowing how to give back to God can be tough, but for youth work there are so many ways you can get involved
I still remember many of the talks and activities I took part in; special times with special memories.
God challenges us to tell others about him (Matt. 28:19–20), and I thought that it was the least I could do as God had given so much for me. But how can we take up that challenge?
Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are created to do good works that God prepared in advance for us. What has God prepared for us?
I’ve been teaching the Bible to small children – mostly my own – for more than 35 years, ever since my oldest son was a toddler. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks.
I don’t think we realise how powerful our influence can be: just by spending time alongside young people who come to our events, clubs, camps and so on, we have an opportunity to lead them to become men and women of God. By our actions or words, they will see the hope we have of what is to come (1 Peter 3:15), just like I did. It’s rewarding for them, you as a youth worker and ultimately God.
We have all been through things that we struggled with, and we can use those experiences to help young people sort through their struggles. We may be able to advise them, help them or just be a friend and someone to talk to.
Knowing how to give back to God can be tough, but for youth work there are so many ways you can get involved, even if you think you’re not good at certain things. We can all do things with the strength God gives us (1 Peter 4:11), such as planning memorable activities, giving talks or leading discussions, being a friend, giving encouragement to go to events, providing lifts, and preparing food.
Get involved! Start something new! Be someone who creates those special memories, and help others come to know God.
Sarah Gardner, The Church of God in Hayes