In addition to having the privilege of serving and interning at Club Christ Ministries (CCM), I am also the youth leader of the middle school and high school girls at my church, The Redeeming Lyte. So when the opportunity was presented for my youth ministry to volunteer for a week during the summer program, I knew my teens had to participate!
Throughout the week, the teens welcomed and interacted with the kids, set up science experiments (moldy bread anyone?), encouraged independent reading, played games, acted out the Biblical story of “Doubting Thomas”, AND led small group discussions with the students about the joyful truth that God is real and we are blessed for believing in Him without seeing Him.
While I could list several reasons to having your youth ministry serve at CCM, two benefits really stand out to me. The first is the benefit it has to a teen’s character development. By the end of the week, every single volunteer stated they had learned something about themselves: they were more caring than they realized and they could successfully manage small groups of children; additionally, they became more confident.
The realization that they could act as role models in the lives of kids they just met was profoundly impactful. That then translates to the idea that EVERY interaction they have- at school, church, in their neighborhood, wherever- is a chance to demonstrate God’s love.
The second benefit I noticed was the awareness that serving can be done from a place of desire and not a place of force. This is so important because it reflects a heart change in which teens actually want to volunteer because they enjoy it and not because they know they are supposed to.
My students are eager to come back and volunteer again at the Center. One of the high school girls had this to share: “The best part of serving was teaching kids who were so eager to learn and seeing how grateful they were for all the volunteers. Other teens would benefit from volunteering at Club Christ because it is a humbling experience and shows that despite your age, you really do have an impact, especially on younger kids.”
As youth ministry leaders, we can talk and quote Scripture about serving until we are blue in the face. However, until our students EXPERIENCE serving firsthand and have the opportunity to live their God-given gifts out, they won’t really understand that serving others is a major way we can joyfully serve God. And serving at CCM is such a wonderful way for youth to truly appreciate that concept!
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10).
Summer Intern- Club Christ Ministries