Last weekend I received this Facebook message from a girl I haven’t been in touch with for about a decade. For the sake of her privacy, I edited out some of the details and have permission to share it with you.
I share this to encourage you as you work with teenagers. Some of you feel like your investment into teens is worthless — you’re seeing absolutely no growth. Some of you are frustrated, tired, struggling, and wondering, “Is all this time, energy and emotion worth it?”
Not every teenager will come back and thank you. In fact, just like the 10 lepers, most won’t, but the ones who do will make it all worth it. You may never know the influence you have on a student just by being present in their life.
Be encouraged — it’s worth it!
Tim, you knew me 10 years ago by my maiden name. I’m not sure if you remember me. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for being my friend! Most of all, thank you for striving to truly live your faith and not being ashamed to do so. You lived your life in a distinctly different manner from all my other friends, and it made an impression on me. Adolescence was a rough season of my life. There were a couple of people in my life during that time who were “Jesus with skin on,” and you were one of them. I’m sure you’ve continued to be a blessing to teens through your ministry and life. Now I’m a pastor’s wife (whoa!); my husband was ordained last year and we are blessed with two little boys, ages 2 years and 4 months. Anyhow, when I stumbled upon your website a few months ago while helping my husband look up info on youth groups, I realized how God had blessed me through you, and I wanted you to know.
Posted on February 3, 2010