An Honest Goal
As we wrap up another night of programming I am once again reminded of how extremely diverse the group of students who come each week are. Differences of race, economic diversity, and very, very different levels of maturity are all some of the most noticeable right off the bat. But when you start to dig a little deeper you are able to see differences that are not so apparent on the surface.
Tonight we challenged students to consider the direction that they would like their life to go. They were given large sheets of paper and asked to write out goals for their year. As you can imagine, the adolescent brain can be quite creative when asked a question like this. Some of my favorites are in the gallery below.
After we were done, when students were picked up or driven home, when the van was parked back behind the church and food was put away, once the Parish Hall was de-transformed and returned to its normal set-up, I put the Red Sox game on the projector screen and began to flip through the sheets of goals that were left behind. There were two that reflected this vast difference especially well. One was to have fun and make friends on an upcoming international visit as well as excelling in a competitive club sport. The second was just two words, "Finish Probation".
Both goals are admirable and worthy of the hard work that it will take to complete. Both goals speak to the desire to better ones own situation. But each goal reveals the difference in need of our group of students. With this diversity in need, I see a need for a diversity in leadership. It is going to take vastly different approaches to reach the group of students gathered each week. This is best accomplished by a diverse set of adults spending time with and getting to know students where they are, challenging them to move forward in their life, and supporting them along the way.
I expressed this need for more leaders in an email this week and have already gotten a great response to help on Wednesdays. As important as it is to have help on Wednesdays (and believe me, it is extremely important) there are other ways that you can help support Saint James Student Ministries. The simplest is through prayer. Our students are constantly learning to navigate situations at school, home, with friends, at work, and everywhere else and need all of the help they can to do so with wisdom.
Another huge opportunity to make a difference is at the upcoming Pumpkin Patch. The 22nd year of the patch will continue to fund the student ministry and allow St. James to be a friendly face in the community. It will also allow these students to come together in community each week and be challenged in their faith. It might help some of the students accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. Your volunteering will allow St. James to continue to have a great impact on the lives of students in our church and community, and will not be in vain. I would encourage you to sign up today to help in October. We may not immediately see the impact of our gift, but we know that our faithfulness empowered by God's provision will lead to lives changed.
Thank you for continuing to support Saint James Student Ministries.