Recently I accepted the position of Saddleback Huntington Beach Student Ministries Director. I cannot begin to tell you how surreal that sentence is.
I come from a church in a small town where you are bound to run into at least ten people you know on a daily basis wherever you go. I had the honor of being the Jr. High Director for my home church for almost two years. I watched our ministry start with a handful of students and grow to 300+ in the course of a year. I’ve seen God do incredible things in our students lives on a daily basis.
Coming from a ministry where everyone “gets it” to a ministry where you have the challenge of starting from scratch really teaches you about humble beginnings. “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” – Zechariah 4:10 NLT
I have the privilege of taking these handful of students back to the basics. I get to teach them why it’s important to read their bibles, why they should take notes, why they should serve, and why they should reach out to their friends.
Was it always an exciting feeling to start from scratch? To be honest… No. I knew it would be a challenge, but I also knew that God had called me to this and I also knew that He would be there every step of the way. I know ministry can be discouraging when you feel like students aren’t getting it, or when you feel like what you’re saying is going in one ear and out the other. I encourage you to celebrate the win.
What do I mean by that?
Every week I remind my students to bring their bibles and journals. For the first couple months I got nothing. The other day I had a student walk up to me and say “Hey Brenda! Look! I brought my bible and journal!” You better believe I celebrated that all morning! I even gave him a shout out during service for setting the example.
These things may not seem like a big deal, but to a ministry that is going back to the basics to build a solid foundation it is a huge step in the right direction. I celebrate that they stepped out and talked to someone. I celebrate that they invited a friend. I celebrate when they take notes. I celebrate the first time a student raises his or her hand in worship.
What gets rewarded gets repeated.
We may not be celebrating that we had 100’s of students show up on a Sunday morning (yet), but I am celebrating that they are making progress. If you aren’t moving forward then you’re standing still.
My advice to anyone in ministry: Celebrate the WIN. We so often as ministry workers tend to hear and fixate on the negative. I pray that we start recognizing that even if just one student gets something out of your weekly message then you’re doing something right and someone’s life is being changed.
Brenda Medina is the Student Ministries Director for Saddleback Huntington Beach. She is a lover of Christ. Encourager. Over analyzer. Writer. Reaching the next generation with passion and heart. Devoted to building up leaders, Brenda is available for any suggestions or comments.
Brenda Medina. Student Ministries Director | Saddleback HB