Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Video Post: youth ministry and the ONE...

I was new to youth ministry when the youth pastor asked me to oversee the junior high and senior girls. In my grandiose ideas of living like Christ, I decided to emulate the actions of Jesus. In my mind, it was going to be spiritual and holy and absolutely fantastically amazing!

But if you've ever done youth ministry, you know that there's always ONE kid who will mess up a plan, an event, or a moment. Yes, that ONE kid who believes they know everything, they're always right, and they could've done everything way better than you ever could have. And yes, that ONE kid came to my event.

The event was off to a great start. Tons of sugary snacks, greasy pizza, and cacophonous laughter from teen girls excited to sing karaoke and stay up all night. I gathered the girls up and explained to them that I would be leading them for the next couple years of youth ministry and wanted to serve them like Jesus. As an act of service to girls, our leadership team decided to wash their feet in basins of warm, sweet smelling water.

As worship played in the background, each leader washed and cleaned each of the girls feet while I shared the passage in John 13 where Jesus humbled himself and washed the feet of the disciples. It was emotional. By the time I finished reading and grabbed a basin there was only ONE girl left to be attended to. And yes, it was the ONE girl I didn't want to even get near to.

I looked at her feet and had to smoother the gag reflexes forming in my chest. It looked like she walked 10 miles in tar and her toe nails hadn't been cut in 40 years. Of all the girls here, I said to myself, I had to get this ONE.

As I touched her feet and slipped them into the bubbly basin, she began to weep uncontrollably. She buried her face in her hands and through painful sobs she apologized to me. She apologized for being negative and allowing her bitterness to over take her. She explained that she felt as if no one loved her... not even her mom. Yet as she heard the words of Christ read aloud and had her feet washed, she knew she was loved. Loved by God and loved by me.

Boy, did I feel like a schmuck!!! I started crying and confessed to her that I needed to apologize too. We were sobbing wrecks. But sobbing wrecks who felt the presence of Jesus in that room.


the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said...

LOVE this. Can you do me a favor and list the SHOW details??? I want to print them out and keep them by my desk as a reminder! : )

Annie said...

Well, I hate feet too... that's all.

Katy G said...

Totally cried reading this. I too worked as a youth leader in a church years ago, and I have to say it's one of the hardest ministries I've ever been involved in. It takes a lot of strength, patience, and love to do what you do. Teens have a way of making you truly see yourself for who you can't hide behind theology w/ them. Love your vlogs...not just your words, but you look gorgeous as always. :)

Bianca said...

@JJ: You're awesome. I'm glad you liked the SHOW acronym too! Wasn't it weird/cool?

Submission (submitting to those in authority over me).
Humility (doing whatever is asked of me)
Obedience (completing a task from start to finish)
Willingness (willing to do what others are not)

christy said...

i'm crying now! love the post...i wanna love like Jesus:)

Bianca said...

@Annie: That makes two of us.
@Katy: Thanks so much! Do you still serve in youth ministry?
@Christy: I got choked up writing it because still to this day I feel like a jerk. A bon a fide JERK. But the good news is I still see her at church and she now serves in ministry!!! God. Is. Good.

Unique said...

I remeber that night...

Brianna said...

fyi...i'd wash your feet. :)

His Jewel said...

She was your Divine appointment! How beautiful! I love how you totally give a visual to set the scene! I didn't get to see the vblog because they block it at work, but I will when I get home, Lord willing. ;)

Lydia said...

Yep, there's always the ONE. I love how your story shows that not only were you able to impact her life, but the impact of her in your life are still seen today! I'm going to have to keep SHOW to share with my fellow ministry leaders this summer!

Markus from germany said...

I like feet, if they look good and don't smell ;-)

Anonymous said...

Love this story! I've had that experience with the *one* as well! I've been out of helping with Youth Ministry for a while now, but my goodness, those kids had a huge impact on my life!!! :) And since I'm out of helping with kids, God still likes to bring adult people in my life that I really want to run from, but continue to grow from. Its always fun. :)

Bianca said...

@Unique: YOU WERE THERE. Oh my word. Memories. You are like one of two girls who actually still come to church. Thanks for being the remnant!!!

@Bri: I know you would.

@Jewels: I'm just glad you check it! You rock. Hey are you going to our retreat?!?!

@Lydia: SHOW has stuck with me even today. I believe it was just God showing His love for me!

@Markus: I think all feet are ugly. They're totally weird!!! Did you know if you cut off your big toe you wouldn't be able to stand up? Weird!

@Amy: Yes!!! I've learned so much from the kids I've come in contact with. I still mentor some girls and I LOVE being around them!

His Jewel said...

Hey B,
You know it!! I can't WAIT to go to your Women's Retreat!! A friend from my church and I are going. It's her first Women's retreat. We can't wait!!!!!!

BTW...I LOVE feet...of course NOT like the one's you described but NORMAL feet. I love the man that I love's feet (that's why I have no man! ha ha), as long as they are NORMAL and have arches! lol i.e. I don't care for flat feet, green or yellow toe nails, athlete's feet or CALLUSES!! Those are NOT normal and taken care of feet! And that's all I have to say 'bout that! ;)

His Jewel said...

P.S. We got little bonuses at work and I ordered my Kindle!! Wooooo hooooo! =)

Katy G said...

No unfortunately at this time I don't work w/ youth anymore. When we moved from PA up to NY to be closer to my parents after my son was born and joined my dad's church, there were no youth. We tried a few outreaches, but we live in a very "religious" community if you get my drift. My husband has formed some relationships w/ a couple of teens in the area, but it's really difficult to break through that religious spirit. The great thing is, the kids who were coming to children's church are starting to become teens, so there will be a need soon! Need to work on myself though before I can begin to minister to others.

Anonymous said...

What a touching story. And I saw first hand how faithful you were in the Youth Ministry and I saw the love you still have for all the girls. I would see you at the office all day, then have a very late night hanging out and ministering to girls. Thanks for your example of self denial, I know you make and are still making an impact. Love you bi!! :)

Melinda said...

Bianca - check out the praise report on my blog! God is answering my BIG prayers.

Krystle said...

I too love youth ministry.

I was able to share with my church about why I do youth ministry. To people who don't love teens (which I definitely think is given by God) it's crazy because you're in the trenches with teenagers who are going through some SERIOUS stuff. It's physically and emotionally draining.

However, it always seems that once in awhile, right before your breaking point, a teenager finds a way to say thank you or has a spiritual break through that you've been praying and hoping for.

It's a rollercoaster but one that I love. You have to be a little crazy to jump on it but it's reward outweighs the cost.

Cassie said...

oh B.
i love your blog.
i love this post.
i love the honesty. it's refreshing.

and i also love:
youth ministry.
the presence of Jesus.
being a sobbing wreck in the middle of both!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get your fabulous blouse from?

Bianca said...

I got my blouse from my little sister's closet :) Orange is not a winter color but I live in California. We can rock anything! :)

Ashley said...


I know I am tardy for the party... but...

I loved your insight. Being a woman in youth ministry, I totally believe in flexible, available, and teachable- but your SHOW acronym is NOW my favorite!


here I am at work, in tears, about your story.

I must confess, I have been one to judge the stinky kid or the awkward student. It is so easy for me to get in the way of God.

I want to be a Christ follower and in doing that, I need to be more like Him. Thank you for the reminder. I so needed it.

Anonymous said...

I too remember that night B :) It was one I will never forget. I remember when you asked if I was willing to do seemed unsettled as to how it would go over with all the leaders. That was such an example to me of not caring about what man thought and obeying your father in Heaven. My heart was willing but I thought the girls might think we were weird! When the night was over I walked away wanting from then on to obey the Lord's leading instead of letting my fears rule me. I havent always been succesful but every time I am obedient...God comes through. My advice as a youth group leader for 10+ yrs is this; Pray about Everything! And Love on them, love on them, love on them! We have NO idea what is going on in the hearts of these kids but love can work miracles. Even when we don't see the ramifications of it immediately. 1 Cor 13:3 "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing". 1 cor 13:13 "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these [is] love"
Keep letting Jesus' love shine B! Luv You!


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