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Youth Ministry IS The First Step

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A few years ago I was eager to join a group going into a women’s jail every week to share the Gospel. Circumstances being as they were, I didn’t actually get to. Sometime last year, I was able to start attending and I loved it. I was so broken over these women, these girls. Some my age, some in their 40s. It was incredible listening to their stories, heartbreaking. I just wanted to pour as much of my love that I possibly could on them. I LOVED being there, but something just wasn’t quite right.

A few months later I went to a women’s conference at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. A lot of times at big events, you amen the speaker while thinking the whole time, “That’s good, but it doesn’t apply to me.” The second day, I knew why God had me there.

Amy Groeschel spoke on doing what God has called you to do. It was about doing YOUR ministry. I was paying so close attention that I think I was sweating. She went on to tell about how she wanted to be on the streets ministering to the poor and broken and had even had the opportunity to go. She wanted to be on the front lines where she saw change and a huge move of God. Being a women’s speaker at conferences just wasn’t as exhilarating as being in the heat of the battle. And that’s exactly where I was. I argued with God a little bit about my desire to be in the jails, to hug these women, pour His love out, testify of His healing power and grace. My answer came quickly and firmly–Denae, YOUTH ministry is the FIRST step to prison ministry. …….I was speechless. My argument was won for me. God had me exactly where He wanted me, standing right beside my husband every time he stood before our youth group. Yes, I was already there every time he was, but my prayers were quickly being focused on the women in the jail rather than the ladies in the youth. God had to show me that by me loving those ladies in the youth every time I saw them, being there to give them a hug in hard times, listen when there were problems, pour out His healing power over them, guide them in the ways of truth, He showed me that I was saving them from ending up in jail. I was blown away. Speechless, still.

1 Corinthians 12:12-30 says, in a nutshell, that we are all one body with many members. The foot has its job, the hand its job, the eyes their job, and so on. A hand wasn’t designed to do a foot’s job just like an eye wasn’t designed to do an ear’s job. If there are all of these parts trying to function as something other than what they were designed to do, then the body will be useless.

God has shown me that I am exactly where He wants me doing exactly what I was designed to do. Yes, it my be more exciting out there sometimes, but I am the key to making someone else’s ministry run just like someone before me is the key to making my ministry run. We work together as one body. One purpose. One Glory.