By Rose Rice, Youth Director at Colosse Baptist Church
People ask why I continue to volunteer in youth ministry when my own children are grown and no longer teenagers. It’s certainly not because I have a lot of free time. I’m not a Biblical scholar, young, or a really cool person. To be honest, I’m sure that over the years, I asked myself that same question.
However, God called me and gives me the desire and passion to be involved in youth ministry. I’m thankful as the volunteer Youth Director at Colosse Baptist Church (a small rural church in King William County) that I have a great youth ministry team.
Each person brings a unique gift to our youth program, and God uses all of us. Over the years, our youth ministry team worked together providing a united and supportive environment for youth to learn, have fun, and grow spiritually.
While raising our sons, my husband always quoted “it takes a village to raise a child”. We use that same viewpoint with teenagers in a church. It takes the whole church to provide the encouragement, love, and financial support needed to ensure that the youth are not only recognized as the “church of the future” but are seen as the “church of today”.
You experience an indescribable joy as you watch youth grow as Christians from middle school to high school. As you see them move into leadership roles in your church, continue to study God’s word, and go on mission trips as young adults, the joy grows.
It is an awesome experience to watch teenagers on a mission trip as they work to help build a wheelchair ramp, put a roof on a house, paint a house, lead VBS, coordinate a block party, visit a nursing home to sing hymns or play BINGO, feed the homeless, serve in a soup kitchen, and do so many other things in just a few days.
During mission trips, I witness the change in a teenager when they become more aware of the needs of others. While the world may call something “a coincidence”, teenagers recognize with awe that it is the hand of God at work. Each year, I stand amazed and overwhelmed by the testimonies from our youth.
I saw the hand of God at work two weeks before our youth mission trip to Greenville, SC. The church we planned on staying in made a scheduling mistake, and our group needed somewhere else to stay. We did not have a place to stay, and there was no time to raise additional funds for a hotel.
Ariel, a local youth minister in South Carolina just happened to be the daughter of a local pastor, Kevin Moen. Kevin has served in several Dover churches throughout his ministry. Ariel heard about our problem through a friend, and asked her church to help.
God heard our prayers and provided a place for us. Our youth learned that God can work all things out even when plans fall apart or things seem hopeless.
Youth in every church need genuine people who love, respect, listen, and show them how much they care. Looking back over the years at all of the headaches, sleepless nights, and coordinating difficulties that I endured, I can confidently say it has all been worth it.
As a volunteer Youth Director, I look forward to the future and continuing to create more wonderful memories.