The older I get, the more I understand what I put my parent's through as a high school student. I keep finding myself becoming a callused old woman with a very little tolerance for the naivety of youth. Let me assure you, I pray against it always. Perhaps it would be easier to continue being callused if I didn't have the privilege of serving the Lord by leading a group of senior high school girls. Watching how the Lord miraculously changes the hearts of even the very lost, never fails to astound me.
I'm always pulled between grace and truth. As those who know me well will tell you, I'm much more of a truth person than a grace person. If you have the guts to put it out, you best have the guts to hear what I'm gonna give back to you. This works in some cases, but the longer I work with high school students, the more I realize that there needs to be a balance. Its easy to forget how I was when I was in high school. My old youth group leader will tell you I was one of her most challenging students...maybe even hopeless.
What I remember about her most was that she listened to me, that she was consistently in my life and that she loved me no matter what junk I may have drudged her through. To be perfectly honest, I don't even remember all the trouble she walked with me through...but I do remember her always being there, speaking the truth of the gospel into my life, teaching me about the incredible love of Jesus. She never judged, but directed. She was firm, yet incredibly loving. She was excited with me when Jesus changed my heart, and she wasn't far when I wanted nothing to do with Him.
So when I decided to lead in our high school ministry, I knew that I had a fantastic example to serve by...and the more I led, the more I realized that she was simply exemplifying Christ in her leading me.
I feel like in almost every situation in life, we get wrapped up in the "how to" or in the practice of becoming the best. We seek out the best leaders to learn how to lead...but we forget that all the secrets of the very best Leader is in scripture. How do we lead anyone well?? By serving them as Jesus would. With love, grace and truth...being a constant in their lives, even when they want nothing to do with us. My serving has changed gears in a huge way...less me, more Jesus...in everything. And let me tell you...when you serve with the heart of Jesus, and get snubbed by a student...it certainly puts my own sins against Christ in perspective.