God-sized stories

Jen Bradbury
Oct 08 · 5 min read

This year, I'm challenging my student leaders to dream big, God-sized dreams for our ministry; Dreams that are, without God, impossible to achieve.

Over the summer, I asked my student leaders to write their God-sized dreams down, share them with one another, & commit them to prayer.

I shared how this year, I long for the size of our high school youth ministry to double.

Now, I'm honestly not a numbers girl. I don't for a second believe that larger youth ministries are better youth ministries.

Even so, the truth is I love teens and I love Jesus and so I want more teens to know Jesus and to learn and grow in their faith. I believe our high school ministry can be an incredible vehicle for this. After all, I've seen the impact it's had on the faith of those involved in it.

So I shared this audacious, bold dream with my leadership team, not sure if anything would ever come of it.

Needless to say, a month into our fall programming, we haven't achieved this God-sized dream.

Nevertheless, I'm encouraged by the ways I see God moving in our ministry.

One of my student leaders led a discussion at one of our first gatherings of the year. She tackled the question, “Does God exist?” and invited a bunch of her friends to join us that night.

Her entourage came – not because they necessarily cared about church or the topic but because they cared about their friend and wanted to support her.

In the process, they discovered a community of caring individuals who willingly discuss their faith as well as all of the questions and doubts that are inevitably a part of that.

After the discussion ended that night, my student leader walked her entourage out. When she returned she excitedly shared how one of her friends told her, “You know my family used to go to this church. Do you think it'd be OK if I started coming on Wednesday nights?”

Since that night, this friend hasn't missed a Wednesday night gathering.

She's becoming a part of the group.

Her story is, I believe, one of many that we'll see and hear this year as we equip students to share their journey of faith with their friends and trust God with our dreams for our ministry.

In the end, though, maybe what matters isn't whether or not my high school ministry doubles in size. Maybe what matters are the stories of teens who, like this friend, now have a church to call home.