By: Alex Monsma
My history with ThereforeGo Ministries can be traced to many formative moments in my faith as a student, but when I first led a group to SERVE in 2016, I was surprised by the lasting impact it made on me as a leader as well.
Student ministry leaders spend countless hours planning meetings, leading youth groups, spending time with students in coffee shops, and cheering them on at events. So often, this natural routine cultivates relationships with Jesus in our students. It’s time well invested and a big portion of how students experience and know Christ.
Then, there are experiences like SERVE. SERVE gives students the opportunity to step outside of what is routine and experience God in new and deeper ways. They step into situations they wouldn’t otherwise find themselves in, serving at an inner-city community center, entering the home of a single mother to help rebuild and paint, re-roofing a garage, or playing games with residents of an assisted living center. Each one of these places is an opportunity for students to put the pieces of faith they’ve established over the years into action.
At the end of each day, we unpack what we saw. We talk about how God was there and how he does abundantly more than we can ask for. Our hearts break together as we lament the brokenness of the world very near to us. And our faith grows as we look, together with hope, at Christ’s promise for restoration.
I’ve come to realize the importance of SERVE not only in the lives and spiritual development of my students but mine as well. My call, as a leader, to help students find a real relationship with Christ happens when I also serve and remember to put my faith into action.