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Working with Teens is "Not My Thing"


Our wonderful Teen HANG Time began just a few months ago and as an OTM staff member, I was drafted to help get the program off the ground. Now, understand me, I was not drafted because I have excellent skills in working with teens, because I am so patient with this transitioning age group, or because I already had great relationships with these teens. Nope. I have none of those, but I was drafted because I was willing to be drafted. That’s right, I was just an adult human being willing to spend my afternoon with teenagers.

I could spin this story in a positive light and tell you the wonderful little moments where I connected with teens. Or, I could spin this in a negative light and explain my many mistakes and failures. But, I don’t plan on doing either of those. My point here is this: sometimes God calls us to do things that are not in our comfort zone and outside of our gifting. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus tells us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”. He did not allocate specific areas to each of the disciples, he simply said “go.”

Now, Jesus said “go”, but he also said, “and I will be with you to the end of the age”. What a promise! When we go, we are not alone. Every time I serve outside of my gifting, I am given the opportunity to really see that Jesus is with me. I’m not relying on my gifts, I’m relying on Him. As Paul said, I am learning to be “content with weaknesses…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) How does that work, you may ask? Because God says, “my power is made perfect in weakness.”

So, what other conclusion can I draw, but that teen ministry is a perfect place for me right now? My weaknesses are abundantly clear with these teens, but that means that God’s power is perfect. And really, do I want my power or His?

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