Today, I went for a run.
I’m not a runner. Nothing about me says run or runner. But today I ran.
Well, it was more like run for a bit, walk a longer bit, run for a bit, walk a longer bit. I’m really a walker. I like to move.
Today the sun peaked out in the middle of February and warmed up the air. You know, the kind of day that calls for windows down, radio up. And then for some reason I decided I would run.
The whole time I’m running, my body is saying:
“You were not made to run.”
Yet, my mind kept saying, “run some more.” So in all of this. I connected to Him. I wanted to figure out what this was about.
Over the course of the past two months, I have sat down with students one-on-one and in small groups, and they have told me about crisis after crisis. Some big, some small, some not a crisis to them, but it gave cause for my heart to break for them.
In all of this, it mattered. It mattered that someone showed up.
There are times in ministry where we run. There are times we walk. There are times we were made to show up and other times we shuffle something around and can make it work if we need to. There are times we are busy or have other priorities. And there are times we just can’t.
Just an hour after my run, my legs ached. This is usually the type of thing that happens over the course of a few days. But this was just an hour later.
Again, my heart went back to ministry. Ministry with students is hard. Your muscles should hurt. It’s messy.
Like my running today, it was messy.
I’m sure it was ugly.
It was hard.
But I did it.
I did it because my mind said to. I didn’t do it because I wanted to or it felt good.
There are times as small group leaders, ministry leaders, and parents when we show up for students because we feel a nudge. There are times when we are asked by a student to show up. To me, that matters most. I fully believe the other times matter, too.
For Elementary kids, they need someone to show up weekly so they know you know them.
For Middle schoolers, they need someone to show up weekly so they know you know them NOW. And for High schoolers, they need someone to show up weekly so they know you will be there when they need you. (Read Lead Small)
I have no idea why I ran today. I have no idea why student ministry connected in my soul to the running. I have no idea why students call me and say, “can we meet?”
But what I believe in the depths of my soul is that it matters.
I train small group leaders every year, and I say the most important thing you can do is show up. And when you show up, sometimes it gets messy. Sometimes it’s an ugly run or cry. Sometimes it a nice walk. But in any case, God calls us to move.
And today students need leaders who believe in God and and believe in them.*