Leslie Hall shares: What I’m Learning About Youth Ministry from my GreenHouse Experience

The following reflection is written by Leslie, one of our 2012-2013 Gap-Year students, as she processes her first 5 months in the Greenhouse Programme:

“Where you invest your love, you invest your life” – Awake My Soul by Mumford & Sons

Investing can mean many different things.  You can invest money into an up and coming business because you believe they have something new to add to the market or you foresee a gain for yourself in the future.  You can invest time into a new project because you have hopes and dreams of taking something that may begin as rubbish and turn it into something beautiful.

What GreenHouse has taught me is that youth ministry requires a heavy amount of investing.  I’ve learned that in order to really love people the way Jesus loved people and to disciple the way that He discipled, I have to be willing to invest more than just my time, effort, or energy, even though those are all important elements.  Truly investing requires investing all of my life.

First and foremost, I’ve learned that investing takes all of my heart and soul and a great deal of love.  As I am investing my heart, soul, mind, and strength into Jesus first, I am able to take the love, grace, and mercy that He instills in me and invest that into the teens we work with.  I think the more attributes of Christ, like His love or grace, that we are willing to invest and proclaim into our relationships with others through practical actions, the more we can have a radical impact for furthering the God’s Kingdom on earth.  Investing means we have to be intentional to reflect and mirror Christ in all of our actions and words.

So what does investing look like for us GreenHousers? It’s going to football matches in the cold to cheer on our teens.   It’s spending a couple Saturdays to help clean, organize, and paint a teenagers room.  It’s meeting up for coffee, playing video and board games, sharing meals, and always being available to talk through good times and hard times.  We’re investing ten months of our words, our actions, and our lives into seeing the teens of Bicester transformed by Jesus.


kmckinnon

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