If you’ve clocked in over 24 hours in the church van this summer, I salute you. You are a road warrior. You deserve all the payoff that is sure to come with the investment of time you’ve given to your students. It’s true, road trips bring people together and teach us things about our students we’ve never discovered during youth group. You’re surprised Jeremy isn’t as shy as you thought he was after all. You’re encourage by Samantha, who stepped up and showed her leadership skills. You’re taken back by tough guy Sean, who showed everybody his spiritually sensitive side.
When all the road trips are over, remember what made this summer unforgettable!
You gave them you
- You had nowhere to go but where you were going. You were less distracted than you are during a normal youth event where you worry about starting on time, finishing on time, and everything in-between. You were in the moment with your students instead of 10 minutes ahead of the moment.
- With lack of sleep and confined space you shared more about yourself than you usually do. It made you more human and less youth pastor. You were approachable.
- Your road trip offered the kind of adult-to-student ratio that allowed you the time and energy needed to connect with your students in a meaningful way.
- You stayed put long enough to spend quality time with students. They got more time with you than they usually get.
- Students were actively involved, serving with you, and having fun with you. They weren’t just following your instruction, they were following your example.
You saw what Jesus sees
- Your eyes were opened to new insights about your students.
- You recognized your students as individuals, not just in the context of the group.
- You gained an appreciation for each student as you watched them interact with each other, and with those they served.
You helped them shine
- Individual victories were celebrated in the large group, encouraging students to shine.
- You noticed students who were struggling and helped them reach new personal goals.
- Students were given more opportunities to serve, minister, and lead each other.
What will you carry into the school year from your summer youth trips?