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We were in a quiet monastery in Ohio. I held a book in my hands that became one I’d revisit every year, required reading turned manifesto. It was a small spiritual formation class during my senior year of college. We were few, but the lessons we learned were many.
The book we read was called, In The Name of Jesus, by Henri Nouwen.
Book - Volunteers - Ministry - Guide - Leaders
If I were asked to pick one book to offer volunteers in ministry, it’d be this one—a nurturing guide to continue to develop them as servant leaders.
When small group leaders sign up for another year, our minds shift to thinking about what we need to support them. What I bring into youth ministry is that weekend in the monastery, when I felt nurtured in my hopes to become a servant leader. Since then, I’ve been doing my best to replicate what made the time so supporting and transformational.
Courage - Commitment - Consistency - Group - Leader
It takes courage, commitment, and consistency to be a small group leader. All three things are big chunks of energy. I never want a leader to burn out or feel like they are unsupported when they share their lives with students on a weekly basis.
I think back to our retreat, to the things that helped us, and make a list of things I want to provide small group leaders this year in our youth ministry. I want to give them:
A place to be still.
Serving out of emptiness is a danger we face when we neglect time listening and being loved by our Creator. During our retreat, we were asked to be silent for an entire day. It was the loudest day of my life—thoughts and imagination and even my own breath reverberated off trees and paths and the walls in my solitary and simple room. But those hours filled me up immensely....
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