Updated: May 13, 2019
Being a part of Student Ministry for over the past six years, I have realized an interesting pattern. It’s a pattern I have not only come to recognize, but identify with throughout my time here at Live Oak. It is something that makes or breaks a student’s desire to connect or disconnect from the church. This particular feeling, however, is one that can only be given. I know you are probably thinking would you hurry up and tell me already; I’m tired of going on this mystery rollercoaster. The feeling I am talking about is being noticed.
because of the place, the people, or some other factor. On this night, I had these feelings as I entered the FLC doors. As I walked in, I was immediately approached by multiple leaders who were excited to see me, which was a bit odd at first because I was thinking, “do these guys know me?”It was less about whether or not they knew me, rather they wanted me to feel known.
For me, being noticed when I was a youth was a bigger deal than some may think... When I was in tenth grade, my mother and I had been coming to this church for a while. One Sunday morning, Dr. Mark was about to introduce the offering, when he spoke about the youth in our church and that there was a service on Wednesday nights for people like me. At first, I was uncertain about this whole youth thing because I had never been to church other than on Sundays and holidays. Even though the uncertainty was there, my mother encouraged me to go. So what does every child do when their parents “suggest something?” You can guess, I was on my way that Wednesday night.
On this particular Wednesday, I had this mindset of trial and error. My goal was to test it out and see if these “Christians” were who they say they were. So, for the first time I got out of my mother’s vehicle to enter into a place I have never been in before and inevitably would change my life forever.
When entering a place where you have never been, feelings of nervousness begin to arise, whether it is
After this first interaction, I realized that these people who were greeting me at the door not only genuinely cared, but were excited to see me. I realized there was a difference in these people, and that difference was that each one of them had a heart for the Lord. The amazing thing is that a few weeks later these same people would be the people who would lead me to the Lord.
A student’s first week at church is the deal maker or breaker. Students are always looking for acceptance in different areas of their lives, which can be destructive or beneficial depending on the circumstance. That is why it is crucial for the students who walk through our doors every Wednesday to feel noticed... because being noticed leads to acceptance.
Every student needs a person to stretch out a hand; are you that hand?
Carl Doescher Middle School Minister