Why I Hang Out (sort of) With the Kids

by Bruce Jameson

A few years ago I decided to focus my efforts at St. Lukes on Student Ministries.

I didn’t really have a plan, so I thought it’d be best to sit in the back of the room,

listen, and watch until I figured out where my place would be. It turns out that

sitting in the back of the room, listening and watching (along with going on

mission trips) was the best place for me all along. Any good I can do comes

from there. Now I’m an Adult Leader, a title I am proud to carry. It’s the best job

at the church.

Most Sunday mornings I am in the Student Ministry area, but I stay on

the periphery. I hang out with them, but only “sort of.” I don’t jump into

conversations or get too aggressive. My position lets me watch for newcomers,

or anyone that has the “I’m Lost!” look. We adults with our fixed routines tend

to forget how hard it is to enter a room of new people. Kids have to do this far

more often than adults, but that doesn’t mean it’s easier for them. So I watch

for those that are hesitant or alone. If the situation seems right, I’ll approach

and say: ”Hi, I’m Bruce. I’m an Adult Leader. Who are you?” and then listen.

They will say their name and I will follow up with “What do you do?”

It’s a strategic move on my part. It’s easier for me to remember that a kid plays

soccer (“What position? Midfielder?”) or dances (“Modern? Jazz? Ballet?”) or

rides horses (“English or Western?”) than his or her name! And every student

would rather talk about his or her passion than what school they attend or what

grade they are in.

My other joy in being an Adult Leader is mission trips and retreats. Each day on

a mission trip or retreat is worth a month of Sunday school. I can build things so

I will lead a construction team. I have watched 9th grade girls master a pickaxe

and attack the ground as if they were fighting against a shield wall. I have seen

high school boys stop talking about video games and stop testing out off color

comments (that they think I can’t hear) and repair rotten decks and floors and

build wheelchair ramps. These successes are awesome.

Junior and Senior High students want to be themselves. They want support

and they want affirmation. I try to simply be there. They see me, they know

I’m around and I’m interested in them. As I get to know them I make great

friendships. I like to follow along with their lives because they are interesting

people. Their rate of change is so much faster than mine. I would be happy to

grow in my faith and outlook as fast as they do.

I’m very blessed to get to spend time with them.

2017-03-28T14:56:21-05:00September 11th, 2016|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

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