This month’s Young Adults in Action blog comes from Eileen in Green Bay Wisconsin. Eileen has been a kindergarten teacher for over 30 years and is active in the ministry of her congregation. Her perspective of working in ministry with young adults is a beautiful testimony of the church at work – generations working together to share the love of Christ! She writes:
Recently I helped lead a mission trip for our church to Guatemala. It was an intergenerational trip, with team members’ ages ranging from 14-71. It was a great experience. Our mission sites were lined up by Youth With A Mission who took care our transportation, interpreters, and lodging.
Our team was made up of high school students, college students, and other adults. All of our college age students had gone on mission trips before. Two of them had just completed short-term mission training. We used them to lead our ministry team as we presented Bible stories, skits, songs, and testimonies to children in the schools. They did an amazing job of encouraging our team members to step out of their comfort zone. Our high school students were pretty inhibited as they began practicing skits, and many of our adults didn’t think it was for them, but before long they were all willing to participate in any roles. Our young adult leaders also led our high school students in small groups, encouraging them in their faith, sharing their struggles, and joining in prayer. When we met as a group in the evening, they also led devotions and sharing time.
I loved working with our young adults. It was encouraging to me to see such strong leaders in that age group. I also knew that they would be much more effective in encouraging our youth that I feel I would be. Our youth would expect to hear “faith talk” from me, but hearing it from someone who is closer to their age gives it much more of an impact. It was also important that they were sharing with the young people in Guatemala. The kids could relate to them. Our kids shared their struggles, but also how their faith in Jesus helped them through those struggles.
I wouldn’t want to lead another mission trip without having some young adults along. They can play a vital role, bridging the gap between teens and adults. They have more maturity than the teens, yet they have the enthusiasm and energy that makes ministry fun and appealing. It was a great leadership experience for our young adults and a great ministry experience for all of us!