Everything I need to know about ministry, I learned at TIU. Okay, not everything, but a good number of things. In this case: the importance of modeling. Everything is clanging gongs and crashing symbols without love and every attempt at discipleship is empty without modeling. This afternoon (by which I mean two or three weeks ago when I actually drafted this post), as I sat at the
restaurant with Stephanie, many of my thoughts about small groups came into focus. This is partially because these days I am preoccupied with the revamp of our youth group and partially because Stephanie articulated something that I have been ruminating on- the importance of modeling in transformative ministry.
The people who have had the most impact on my life are those who have let me into theirs. I really want our small groups to be a place where adolescents see the inside of the lives of adults who are living out their faith. And I think that this is why people volunteer in youth ministry- yes? I want to see adults and teenagers connecting, and in Stephanie’s words, realizing that they are both human.
Yes! I am passionate about this connection and its value, but Steph rightly pointed out that it is the foundation to something greater. As one who would seek to disciple adolescents, not only do I have to be transparent, but I need to be living out my faith, AND I have to be willing to let young people see my life. This is where I feel the most challenged- one cannot program authentic, soul-changing, life changing Christianity. But it can be fed, nurtured and modeled.