I recently returned from a trip to San Francisco with the above group. The group is comprised of, mostly, recently graduated seniors from the youth group at Arborlawn UMC. We do a trip like this every year as an end of the year/farewell to our seniors who have served in many different capacities. We have a leadership program that we base a good deal of our programming around at Arborlawn that helps lead our students into service in the church in the hopes that when they go off to college they have a better sense of how to be a part of a church instead of simply being a religious consumer. They serve in a variety of capacities from helping with all ages of Sunday School classes to volunteering in the church office.
The trip is a big “thank you” to them as well as a time to remember the past and look toward the future. I always have mixed emotions on these trips. I really enjoy spending time with these students that I have grown closer and closer to over the years; but I also know that, come fall, they will be off to college and no longer be a regular part of our program. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know each and every person on this trip. I’m thankful for the lives of other students that they have invested in as they grew through the program and I am excited for what the future holds for them. God’s kingdom is definitely enriched by the lives of those willing to selflessly serve and willing to pour into the lives of others and these students are a testament to that.
How do you make space for the students or people in your ministry to pour back into the lives of the people that come after them? How have you been training up leaders?