Just When I Thought I Knew Why I Was There…
Today I went to connect with specific kids and remind them of the event we’re having tonight.
First lunch I made my way into the cafeteria and said hi to a few kids…then asked the lunch duty guy how his day was…after 30 minutes I’d heard all about his 7 and 9-year-old sons and how they’d been bullied in school. The pressure they felt and how he protected them and transferred them to another school. During my conversation several of our regular kids approached him as they had “trash duty” (always great to know when your kids are in trouble). Turns out the lunch duty guy and I went to the same high school during different eras – and he asked my opinion about Christian schools vs. public schools. I left better connected and knew that God used me…but not as I’d planned. I left him and went into a classroom where kids generally congregate – just a teacher and two students. Again – the teacher reached out to me and asked how things were. I’ve been very open about my faith with this teacher – and have developed a great relationship with her – being bold about the fact that Jesus is pursuing her! We spent the rest of the first lunch talking about the needy kids she knew… then bell rang!
Second lunch was going to be different – I entered the school gates and was headed to the quad where all the kids were. I needed to be seen and mingle – it’s what I do! I was only 10 feet inside the school grounds and a mother approached me – she looked familiar but I didn’t remember her name. Her son was involved in our ministry – but he’d graduated early and now we were pursuing her sophomore son. She began to share with deep emotion about her older sons struggle with addiction, from marijuana to ecstasy. She recounted his last four years – in painful detail. She spoke of having to place her son in a mental institution for a 5150 psychiatric 72 hour hold. She wondered out loud where her parenting had gone wrong and how prevalent drug use is at this particular school. Several students approached me as we were talking and I gave them the “Hi, I’m busy nod” – this conversation was clearly the purpose for me being there. The bell rang 35 minutes later – she apologized for taking the whole time – we exchanged numbers and I assured her I would contact and encourage her son who was enduring his second week in rehab.
I came to meet with kids – my purpose was to be seen and engage with as many kids as possible. Tonight is a big night – we are sharing the Gospel tonight – what happens if nobody comes? Did I waste my time? As I walked to my car Jesus whispered in my ear, “You’ve shared my Gospel to three desperate adults this lunch…well done good and faithful servant.” Wow…not sure how tonight will turn out – but none of this would have happened if I had stayed in the office doing busy work. Going on campus has become a habit – and I’ve learned that each visit is unique – I’ve learned to be flexible and obedient and see what God has in store for me. Why not join me…choose a campus to invest in. It might not have the immediate impact you thought it would have – but there’s great satisfaction in “going” and trusting God for the results. Until next time…
is a 20-year youth ministry veteran who has worked full time for Campus Life for the last 14 years. He serves on two campuses weekly and runs several campus ministries both on and off campus in partnerships with local churches. Rob has been interviewed several times in Jonathan's podcasts on TheSource4YM.com and Jonathan drew from his expertise throughout his book, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation. Rob serves on the national Campus Life team at Youth for Christ USA.