I don’t know about you, but I prefer meeting and chatting with people one-on-one. The chance to look into the eyes of the other person and discover what they are really trying to say with the words that are coming out of their mouths has always made more sense to me than group stuff. I enjoy group settings to an extent, but I feel super intimidated by them. I feel like I’m going to make a fool of myself in front of lots of people. Maybe it comes from my high school experience of not really fitting into a larger group.
Teen ministry is one-on-one, so I’ve always done teen ministry. Even in Brazil where we were involved in a kid’s project, I busied myself with the teen volunteers. It makes sense, right?
Looking at Windsor, and having a heart to see real change, we decided that the most effective way is to invest long-term in the community. If we’re going to invest long-term then we need to get involved with the kids. If we’re going to see change across the community then we not only need to get involved, we need to get relational. Not only do we need to get involved and relational over the long-term, but we need to do it on a large scale. This means kids and this means groups. Two items that aren’t included in the list of things that I’m comfortable with.
But isn’t that the point? To make ministry more about the people I'm catering to than about myself? It’s not supposed to be done only when I’m comfortable. It’s supposed to be done to fulfil the need and the calling.
This month we ran a program that was attended by over 190 kids! That’s just crazy! I haven’t even heard of another place where this ministry runs and reaches so many kids in one program. The chaos and intimidation on the day were completely justified when we, as a team, stood around at the end and realised that we had shared the gospel with one hundred and ninety children! Where else are they exposed to unconditional love like this? Where else are they celebrated like God’s children? Totally worth whatever chaos we felt.
I shared about how we started a soccer practice with some kids, just to give them a place to play that isn’t the street or the concrete floor of a complex. We have grown to 35 kids joining us every second week! Not only that, but we’ve also been so very blessed with two coaches. Two brothers, one of whom has just finished studying sports science, have agreed to come help out with these boys and coach them properly. It’s so flippin cool.
We got involved in reaching out to Robin Hills Primary School. The school is primarily made up of Windsor children. We joined a team who has been going to the school for six years, and this year they have decided to give us an entire lesson after break to spend with a different grade each week to teach them life skills from a biblical perspective! The conversations we’ve been having have been heart breaking, but it is so exciting to speak into their lives against the abuse they receive.
I still feel intimidated and even scared being asked to do these things. It’s still horrible to think of all these groups we’re reaching. But the thought of not doing them scares me even more. I want to share the love I have received. I feel as if I need to. God seems to agree, because each step of the way, He has faithfully equipped every one of us with even more of His love. I think I am realising that if I were only to do what I was comfortable with I would have no reason to grow, and I would be capable of doing everything with no need to rely on God.