The following post was written by Stephen Law, a member of our youth ministry staff at Grace Covenant Church. This post is part of the on-going training that we do with our adult leaders. For more information about our ministry, check out oneightydc.com
My first year of youth group, I was 5’0’’ tall, 120 lbs, and incredibly shy. On the other hand, my youth pastor, Pastor Dave, was a 6’5’’ former All-American volleyball player from Southern California whom everyone seemed to gravitate towards. Although our youth group was around 100 people, Pastor Dave immediately took a specific interest in my life. He would take me home from Oneighty, bring me along for errands, and invite me over for dinner with his family. For me, going with him to Home Depot for a few hours was the highlight of my week. He was the first Christian I met that lived liked Jesus and took an interest in my life.
With over 150 regulars that come through Oneighty on a weekly basis, it is easy for a teen to get lost in the shuffle. I often forget that each teen that comes through our doors has a story. Divorced parents, impure relationships, bad grades, drugs and alcohol addictions- these are realities for many. They are desperate for someone to take an interest in their life. They are more than a number in our ministry; each teen is a life that God has entrusted to our care.
Although Jesus often preached to the masses, he also sought after “the one.” Whether calling down Zacchaeus from the Sycamore tree or approaching the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus took an interest in the broken and rejected. Jesus spoke of his desire to go after the one, lost sheep in Matthew.
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? (Matthew 18:12, ESV)
Oneighty is full of lost sheep, desperate for someone to pursue them. Pursuing the one can be as easy as a text, Facebook message, or meeting up for coffee. While going to one of your guy’s basketball games or picking up one of your girl’s from school is a small inconvenience to you, it means the world to them. Ask God, “who is the one you want me to pursue?”