This morning, I opened my myspace inbox to an email from a student I haven't seen in the youth program in a long time. This student lives a pretty good distance from Palestine in a small community. She was a regular in our program at one time, but due to gas prices and family changes she has been unable to attend for some time. We have kept in touch over the last year through myspace. I always wanted her to know that she was missed and we wanted to see her next time she got a chance to come to one of our meetings. Well, this morning she reported to me that she had been almost agnostic over the course of the last year, but at a couple of events this weekend with another church, she had "gotten saved" (that was how she put it--I have to assume she prayed to make Christ the Lord of her life--either way, she had a spiritually moving experience and had talked to someone about her relationship with God). She told me how she saw the reality of who God was. One of the events she had attended was a production of "Hell House." Personally, this is not how I like to approach preaching the gospel, however, this was something that spoke to her heart. I was encouraged to know that the seeds I had planted over nearly 2 years of study came to fruition somewhere else. She is now getting plugged into the ministry of this church that is closer to her home and where she has several friends from school.
Sometimes it's hard to let go of stuff. We want to be the guy who leads droves of students to Christ each week and has the big program with standing room only at each of our lessons and when it doesn't happen that way, we can get discouraged if our pride gets in the way. The church in Corinth had this problem (I Cor. 3), although, It wasn't Paul and Apollos who had the pride issue...it was the congregation. They were taking up sides for who was their favorite preacher. As youth ministers, we want to see those kids make a profession of faith and come to Christ under our watch and we forget that we may be planting the seeds or watering, when God is the one who will bring the growth and it may be someone else who gets to reap the benefits of the harvest. For those of you guys in the trenches of youth ministry, be encouraged. Isaiah 55:11 says the Word of God will not return void (KJV). The lessons you teach week in and week out are sinking in, but they may not take root until long after you teach them.