I have been involved in a ministry called Young Life on and off since 2006. For the past almost two year I've been working with middle students through Wyldlife. Throughout the past 5 years I have questioned more times than I'd care to think about "Is it worth it?". It can be extremely draining in all aspects, physically, mentally, emotionally and especially spiritually. You can give and give and give and often you don't see anything come from it. So why do it?
Why spend time planning a Campaigner lesson? Researching the topic so you can be sure to have the knowledge you need to teach it? Creating an application take-home sheet? For one kid.
Yes, we had one kid show up to our Campaigners meeting last night. And not just any kid. No. It was the one kid that's a little, umm, different. First off, it was a boy and we don't have any male leaders yet. He's always been a bit socially awkward, and never seems to be into what we are doing. We could be playing this super awesome game that all the other kids are loving and he's wandering around looking super bored.
It could have been a totally awkward night, with him only giving one word answers and not talking to us. But it wasn't. He totally opened up to us and for the next hour and a half we got to know him. Got to understand him better. (Well, I still don't understand how he can play video games for hours on end, especially since all he plays are first and second person shooting games... but that's something I don't think I'll ever understand about anyone!)
Since yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, we proposed a challenge to not only give something up, but to replace it with something good. We had a sheet for the parent to initial off on for accountability. Well, when his dad came to pick him up, he ran over to me and asked if he could have another sheet and gave it to his dad and told him he had to do it too! He explained to his dad what it was and everything! Totally awesome! Then, as he was leaving he gave both of us a hug! So sweet.
It wasn't in our plan to only have one kid show up. And things maybe not be always as we perceive. But God always has bigger plans than us and He knows what we need, when we need it.
It's moments like that that make it worth it.