Right after college, I was the youth ministry for an incredible group of kids at Calvary Baptist Church in Rome. Those kids and their families were exceptional in so many ways. I call those youth "my kids," because I felt a huge sense of involvement in and responsibility for their spiritual growth. God used me to teach them, and them to teach me. Those were years of INTENSE growth for me. And now, it's such an awesome blessing to see some of those youth as adults (some married with children!!) pouring their lives into the lives of the youth at CBC. Same church, but a different group of teenagers with a new generation of leaders. I am SO PROUD of each one of them, and it's always a blessing to hear from "my kids" to know what's going on in their lives.
This past weekend, a few of "my kids" led a Life, Love & Dating retreat for the CBC youth. I did this with them when they were in the CBC youth group, and now they're continuing the tradition using the curriculum I wrote a few years ago. Here's a message from Alyssa, one of "my kids:"
So, Josh Clark has talked to Taylor Vaughn and I about doing a Life, Love, and Dating Retreat again with the high schoolers. We have just been remembering how awesome that was when we were that age and how important it is that our high schoolers now hear that too. While doing some exploring and researching, I found the material that I believe you wrote back in 2006 when we did the last one. Would it be ok with you if we used your material? Just let me know what you think about it! Thanks Hailey! Love you friend!!
Tonight, I received this message from Josh Clark, one of "my kids:"
I just want to tell you thank you for allowing us to use your material for this weekend. This weekend was awesome! We had a total of 19 youth there to enlighten! And also want to thank you for teaching us when we were that age. The youth that you had back in the day, are at the age now where we talk about what we did when we were in the youth and want today's youth to experience it also. It's funny how God uses you in situations to teach and to be taught. With the youth not having a youth pastor right now, it's taught your youth to stand in the gap to teach the youth there. Without you teaching us to bond and to stick together a few years ago (more like 6 years ago, wow), I don't think we would have done some of the things that we have done for these kids. It's been a team effort. (sorry if it sounds like i am rumbling on but it was on my heart)
Friends, I love you very much, and you are such a blessing to me! Josh & Alyssa - please don't kill me for using your messages to me. I just treasure your words and never want to forget how I witnessed God accomplishing things through you!
Thank you, God, for allowing me to be part of the disciple-making process with these incredibly special kids (now adults!). I pray that you would continue to use them to build your kingdom and bring you glory. May they teach others about your love, and those in turn teach others, who then teach others.