Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Changing of Seasons

STUDENT MINISTRY: Changing of Seasons

      Living in Northwest Arkansas, I am annually treated to a display of God’s goodness as I watch the leaves change color. It is simply beautiful. Sometimes, it is a gradual shift. Other times, it is over in a couple of days. During this time of the year, I am often reminded of transitions. This year, it is especially true. I watched one of my students play his last football game at Farmington High School. In less than a month, I will see my daughter graduate from Central Baptist College. And every time I look in the mirror, my ever-graying beard makes me look a little more like Santa.

      Transitions are a normal part of life, but they can be challenging for many of us, especially those in student ministry. Every year is somebody’s last “fill-in-the-blank.” That is the nature of working with students. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. Student ministry workers pour themselves into students’ lives. We would love to have most of our students around longer, but that isn’t how it works.

      How do we handle the transitions that seem to hit us daily and year after year? How do we move forward, knowing that this might be the year you are saying goodbye to one of your favorites? (I know we aren’t supposed to have favorites, but we do.) We need to remember a few things as we navigate the transitions of life:

         • God’s Word is eternal. There are a lot of things that shift in our lives, but God’s Word and His Promises remain. Lean into His goodness that is found there when the changes you face start to stack up. I have often wished for a detailed understanding of all the transitions that I would face, but God tells us to simply trust Him. If He cares about the birds, He cares about me. Cling to His Word.

         • Understand that God has a plan. Moments of change are simply a part of the roller coaster we call life. Ultimately, God has a plan and purpose for us and the things we experience. Leaving behind a ministry, watching a student graduate, having a child move out of the home — all these things can be painful and difficult, but God has a purpose behind our experiences and wants us to trust Him. It is okay to be sad, but don’t live there. He has much for you to do.

         • Celebrate. Many of the transitions we face are moments of movement. Our students graduate from high school to enter the next phase of life. When our children get married and move out, it is to start a life of their own. Getting a new job may mean more pay and better hours, but it may also mean moving across the country. Take time to celebrate the blessings of God as He provides. Even though there may be some pain in the process, rejoice in the good God has done. I’m not sure the transition from grey to “Santa-white” in my beard is something I want to celebrate, but it is a sign that God is keeping me around a bit longer to serve. So… I will celebrate.

      Transitions can be hard, but think about what is on the other side. We go through fall to get to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We watch our children graduate and feel that change, but we get to see them grow and succeed. It can be difficult, but remember that God is in control, and He wants us to trust Him as we walk through the time of transition with Him.