I’ve been volunteering for Middle School Youth Group since I was a sophomore in high school. I did take a break my senior year of high school but after my senior year, I volunteered right back up again. Some people don’t understand why I love it so much. Some times I don’t even know why I love it so much. Maybe it’s because I’m around kids, maybe cause they are funny, maybe it’s because I don’t hang around people as often as I should and it’s good to get out, i don’t know. But I genuinely enjoy and absolutely love volunteering for Middle School Youth Group.
This year, the year after I graduated high school, I dove into volunteering more at the church. Whether that be at middle school youth group, high school youth group, stuffing bulletins, or helping make ABLAZE breakfast on a few Sunday mornings. And I have definitely done that this past semester. And it brings me a tremendous amount of joy to help and be wanted like that. To have someone want me to help them in anything I can. On Wednesday’s I’m at the church at 4, or sometimes earlier, just to set up for Middle School Youth Group. If I’m helping with High School Youth Group, I’m there at 3. And if I’m able to help with ABLAZE breakfast I’m there bright and early at 8am.
But working with middle schoolers this past semester, I’ve really been able to focus on the little kids and watch them really grow. When in the past I was volunteering for confirmation service hours or for volunteer hours for school. This time it was fully my choice because I absolutely love it. I get to watch them grow close to the Lord, and I get to be reminded every week what it’s like to let loose and be a kid again. I thoroughly enjoy teaching my little kiddos, even when they are having a hard time listen to an adult, and teaching them to respect the Lord and that the Lord loves them so much more then they will ever know.
I love watching my little kiddos play games that Jake and I set up, I love watching my kiddos listen to Jake or Ashley or Tania or whoever is giving the keynote as they try to understand whatever it is they are saying. And I absolutely adore watching them adore Christ in the Blessed Sacrament when we have adoration once a month for them. I love talking with them and being goofy with them. Making inside jokes and telling riddles as we eat dinner. I love forming relationships and bonds with each of the littles. Especially bonding and watching my own brother grow in his faith as he just started middle school youth group.
I love setting up for youth group. Though some times hard and frustrating, at the end of the night there is a blessing that comes from that. A blessing that can’t be described or replaced. Seeing my little kiddos dive in to their faith. Like the last youth group we had before Christmas, we talked about in small groups what we wanted for Christmas and discussed if it was a material thing that was glorifying God or just something we wanted. And it was interesting to see and hear what each kid in my small group wanted. Most of the kids had like 15 things on their list, and most of those was a hoverboard at the top of there list. It’s interesting hearing the stories some come running to tell me each week.
I have this special bond with 2 incredibly amazing girls! One has so much talent and I love her like a little sister. She draws and sings and dances and she has so much intelligence. The other girl comes with her mom, who helps in the kitchen preparing dinner, and she is such a joy to be around. Sometimes she’ll follow me around and help me. We’ll joke around and laugh and have little inside jokes. And the best thing I can do for these girls, is to tell them how incredibly beautiful they are and how much God loves them!
My challenge for you this week is to volunteer at your own church for at least a couple days, and see how much not only you get out of it, but others as well. Because you’re ultimately volunteering for God but so many people are blessed with your time that you take to help. I promise you’ll love it! And my pray for you is that you are able to volunteer and see Christ in whoever you’re volunteering for and with. That you grow a better relationship with the Lord as you volunteer and do little acts of kindness. You are doing a great job! Keep going!! You are loved! You are good enough! You are the best you!! God Bless!!