Youth Leader Education
My name is Julie Amshey and I am receiving youth leader education at Christian Leaders Institute. I currently live in Marne, Michigan located in the United States of America. Living in West Michigan, I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many churches and fellow believers. However, I also know that there are so many people in the area that have not committed their lives to Christ by choice or because they haven’t heard the Gospel.
I was blessed to be born into a Christian family and to attend a Christian school from kindergarten through senior year of high school. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know who God was. It is easy, however, to remember the first time I called him my Lord and Savior. After having my first son, I felt I had a glimpse of how much God loves his children. It made me realize that I wanted to grow in my personal relationship with Him and that I was the one holding out on the connection with God.
My ministry dream is to lead students to Christ. When I see the loneliness and solitude that so many children, teens, and young adults are living in, it breaks my heart. I want them to know the love of Jesus Christ, and how a relationship with Him will fill the emptiness inside themselves. I want them to look to Him to feel complete instead of turning to social media, technology, drugs or alcohol and so many other harmful things that continue to leave a person empty.
The ‘Getting Started’ class at Christian Leaders Institute has only reaffirmed my belief that God is a relational God. The class spoke about the need for community within the church and the responsibilities we have as Christians. I am encouraged to know that the classes taught will be guided with these teachings in line. I am excited to learn, and I know that it will push me further into understanding our God.
For the word I identify with most, I would choose ‘Youth Leader’. Being a part of student ministry is remarkable and very raw. I enjoy being able to lead a lesson and use life experiences as an example from God’s word. I am grateful that I don’t have to be perfect or pretend to be around the students. Being a part of student ministry really means meeting them where they are at, and I find that amazing. I love the energy of the youth and since I began volunteering in the ministry, I have felt God’s calling to grow in it. Moments in youth group where I am able to see a student have a “lightbulb moment” where they realize Christ died for them makes my heart skip a beat.
When considering how connecting to the Bible has transformed my life, I feel like it has made all the difference. While I was in school I was taught the Bible, but since becoming an adult I feel like I have found the meaning of scripture. I know that scripture is God-breathed so to be able to read the Bible is to hear from God. Again, and again, His words remain relevant to our world. Paul’s letters to the early church are able to guide new Christians in their spiritual journey. Jesus’ words continue to teach lessons on how we should treat one another and what forgiveness means. And each time I sit down to read scripture, God has something to say to me.
My church has continued to support the Student Ministry and those who lead it. I have had the privilege to be an administrative assistant for the Middle School Youth Group for the past two years. I also have been able to volunteer alongside some amazing leaders in both High School and Middle School Youth Group. It has also been great having my two sons in the youth groups. I have my oldest son in High School and my middle son in Middle School youth group. I also look forward to having my daughter involved someday. I am blessed to have a supportive husband that knows how much this ministry and my youth leader education means to me.
Going back to school has never been in our budget, however, so receiving a scholarship to attend CLI is very important in being able to achieve my dream. When I heard about CLI, I felt like God was opening a door to a possibility I didn’t think would be a reality. The flexibility of attending online is also important because it makes it possible to continue working during the day and be available to support my kids and be there when they need me. Again, this opportunity for youth leader education goes beyond anything I could have imagined.
I have asked my family to pray for me to stay focused on my youth leader education and continue completing the assignments when they are due. I also pray that I can prioritize and not allow distractions to interfere with this education. If I could ask for you to pray for me as a mother, a wife and now a student. I know that if this is God’s plan for my life, then it will be completed. I ask you to pray for me to hear the voice of God and to follow his promptings in the future.
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