“I identify most with the term youth leader because I enjoy being able to be creative and find ways to present the Word in a fun and interactive manner. It is also my passion to help youth overcome their circumstances and experience the peace and love that comes with knowing the Lord. I am so passionate about this because when I was growing up I experienced some negative things with peers which led to some damaging behaviors. Also, youth are bombarded by the media to live according to the world’s standards, which only brings heartache. It is so important for our youth to have a positive place to go where they have a chance to experience the love of the Lord.”
Being A Youth Leader Is More Than Just A Job, It’s A Passion- A Calling
My name is Ashley C and I live in the United States of America. I recently received my Masters in Social Work, which was a vital step in deciding to be involved in ministry (I will answer how Social Work led me to ministry later in my story).
I enjoy doing youth ministry and seeing the change in those we help. Doing ministry here has its pros and cons. I am thankful for the freedom that we do have to live as Christians and it is great connecting with fellow Christians as well. It is awesome to see the people that do accept Christ, and being able to help disciple those the Lord leads to us. There are challenges that we face in that there are so many who come against Christ and claim that Christianity is bigoted and oppressive. With so many people following mainstream culture it is often difficult to get people to understand what the Bible is really about. Often times they believe the twisted lies our culture tells them about the Bible instead of studying the Bible for themselves or being open to hearing another view point. There can also be challenges in coming together as one. There are times when people see denominations as dividers and get caught in seeing each other as competition rather than uniting as Christians to be more effective.
I grew up knowing about the Lord but did not understand what it meant to surrender your life to Christ and follow His will. There were also things I saw from Christians that were hurtful and that I did not understand. When I reached my mid-twenties I started to feel hopeless and to think that there had to be more to life, so I started to study the Bible for myself. During this time I took an internship in Child Protective Services. I started to feel more hopeless because of what I saw happening in families, but the Lord led me to various other books and tools to help me realize I needed to surrender my life to Christ and start living my life for Him.
I currently work in ministry with my husband. The Lord laid it on our hearts to be a youth leader in a youth center. We co-founded 2 Rise Above Youth Ministry where we provide a positive environment for youth to rise above the negative circumstances in their lives. We utilize the Word of God in conjunction with evidence based psychological interventions to help youth live out their faith. It is our dream to be able to do this ministry full-time, as well as share Christ with more youth and help them to heal and grow in their faith. It is our goal to create more curricula related to life skills and social/emotional/spiritual well being; as well as travel throughout Wisconsin and share this ministry with others.
The Lord prompted me to start a ministry when I was taking a Forensic Social Work class and I saw just how oppressive our juvenile justice system was. We were using methods that actually increased criminal activity rather than decreased it. After doing a paper on ways we could improve our juvenile justice system with positive interventions, I saw that this was something my husband and I could do through as a youth leader in a youth center.
Our ministry is located in a small town. We have encountered challenges with the community being guarded to a new presence and seeing us as a threat rather than a partner.
We have had to rely strongly on the Lord while preparing our ministry because we went through a period where individuals at our previous church were dissuading youth from being involved in our ministry. There was a sense of competition from these individuals who were not willing to see how we could work together. We ended up finding another church (for various reasons) and they have offered prayer and encouragement when we have faced challenges.
Training with CLI to become a youth leader would help achieve our ministry goals because I want my biblical training to be as in depth as my training in social work. I want to provide accurate biblical information in the curricula and these classes would allow me to do that. Training to be a youth leader under CLI’s free online study program, would further help achieve these goals because I have already accrued a lot of student loan debt and thus do not have the funds to pay for other high quality biblical instruction.
My husband and I would appreciate prayers for wisdom, perseverance, guidance, and strength as we continue our ministry. In regards to our ministry we would appreciate prayers for unity, increased connections, funding, and future students.
Enroll With CLI To Prepare As A Future Youth Leader
If you feel led to be an important factor in the lives of our youth, then click here to begin your free online ministry training and become a Youth Leader! Be a friend. A mentor. A listening ear. A person who cares. Let us make our youth feel just as important to God. They may not be adults yet and have adult problems, but if it’s important to you, then it’s important to God. No issue is too little or too big for our Father.
Like us on Facebook