This semester marked my second year as a youth leader for First Baptist Church of Lubbock having started in September of 2012. I am the youth leader for the 8th grade girls Synergy group for FBC. I met with them every Sunday night from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m for six weeks this semester. I taught them a bible study, helped serve food and played games with the youth kids. I plan to continue this each semester until I graduate from college. I have been with my girls since their 7th grade year, and now they are 8th graders! I plan to continue moving up with them in the years to come. Although I am primarily the female youth leader, I also interact and engage with the 8th grade boys as well. I enjoy having the opportunity to interact with the kids and getting to know them on a personal level. It is a rewarding experience that has become very dear to my heart.
I have learned the value of patience and reaching out to others through being a youth leader. There are some youth kids that are not as confident and tend to be more on the quiet side. I have made it my goal to let these kids know that they do not have to be ashamed of who they are because they are valuable. God made them in His image and nothing can take that away. Through this experience I have learned that being a leader is more than taking action, but also listening. My 8th grade girls have taught me more than I ever expected to learn. I admire their strength, their maturity, their love for others and their passion for Christ. Some have been bullied in school, some have don’t have father figures in their life, and some struggle with their self-image every day. I have been shocked to learn of a lot of things they have to go through in this new generation of teenage years, but I am so proud of them for being able to overcome the pressure of society.
I have learned a lot about myself too. It makes me happy to share my knowledge with them, and I also love hearing their own wisdom at such young ages. I have come to realize that being a good leader is leading by example. A lot of times in my life, I have seen people that teach one thing but never live it out. It’s as if they don’t take their own advice. It is my goal to be a good role model for these girls. Sure, it’s a lot of pressure, but having this role holds me accountable for my actions. Everyone is human and is going to make mistakes, and I know that I am far from perfect. I am going to fail them, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have to try. I want them to look up to me just like I have looked up to strong, Christian women in my own life. I have learned to take responsibility for my actions and to live what I teach. I want to have a beautiful journey with Christ even if I stumble along the way, and I want them to know that they can have a beautiful journey too.
The most rewarding thing about being a youth leader is seeing my girls’ faces and knowing that they are genuinely happy to see me. Each one of them has their own story, their own past and their own future. I admire them as much as I hope they admire me. I look up to them despite our age differences, because we are all sisters in Christ and we learn from each other. One of the best feelings is getting a hug from one of my girls and having her embrace me in her arms. I can feel the love pouring out of her heart and it seeps into mine.
This opportunity has benefited me in so many ways, and it is an opportunity that has allowed me to build close relationships on a personal level. I don’t do this out of obligation, but I do this out of passion. Teaching my girls a bible study and playing games with them makes me happy. Whether I’m singing with them, watching a movie with them, or taking them to the corn maize, I love every minute. Yes, it can be tiring and a sacrifice of my time, but this sacrifice is well worth it. This leadership role has prepared me for future leadership roles not only in the career field, but also on personal levels. Being a youth leader for First Baptist Church of Lubbock has been an amazing and rewarding experience, and I have loved growing with my girls in Christ.
“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for other believers in your speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12