When I was a boy I began playing organized baseball when I was eight years old. I fell in love with the game after my dad and uncle took me to watch a Detroit Tiger game in old Tiger Stadium in 1968 when I was five. If they would have had tee-ball back then I would have started playing younger. I played every year from age eight through my senior year of high school, but I don't remember my coach until I was twelve. It was obvious that I had a coach every year from 8-12 because I knew how to play the game, so someone must have coached me, BUT I don't remember them...AT ALL.
I told you that story to illustrate a point: Any youth or kids minister who understands his role in the Kingdom of God realizes that the job has little to do with him/her and everything to do with the kids. Your purpose IS NOT to be remembered by the kids -- it's to pour the love of God into them. If by some fluke they grow up and call you and tell you a story about something you taught that impacted them, that is awesome, but in truth you need to have enough faith to sow seeds of love and the concepts of God's word into them and know that words of affirmation have little to do with how effective you are.
Over the course of the ten years of Kids for Christ USA, I have had the privilege of working with thousands of extraordinary kids, many of them since they were in second grade. One of the goals is to raise up kids to become leaders in the body of Christ. Even though that is one of the goals, when it actually happens it is still overwhelming.
At the high school level our ministry takes on a significantly different form than elementary schools: the students lead the clubs. Earlier this school year one of my senior leaders (Sr. as in class of 2011) asked me to meet with her every week. That quickly became meet with her and the other four leaders from her school. That grew into meeting with the leaders from her school and the intermediate high school just under them every week at Starbucks. It has been a high point to my week all year. What has been really amazing has been watching them develop and love their schools. They are astounding!
Back in January the girl I mentioned above asked me if it would be possible to bring the kids of the other high schools we work with together for an evening of worship and prayer. I loved the idea and we began working to make it happen. It developed into having faith enough to take my hands off and let it be student-led.
This past Saturday (5.7.2011) at Camp Loughridge we had over 90 students and adult leaders from sixth grade up come together for a night of worship that far surpasses ANY worship service or concert I have ever experienced. I have never seen unity like that in my life! The worship team was made up of mostly students from Union High School "Fuse". There were kids from five high schools, two junior highs and even a couple of home school coalitions. It was so powerful that I and the other adult leaders spent a great deal of our night walking around with our mouths hanging open and crying. It was so powerful and so humbling to just join in the worship and let God use these amazing kids -- kids who don't care which schools or which denominations were represented. They only cared about lifting up the name of Jesus! They sang, they jumped, raised their hands, fell on their faces, cried out to God, and prayed together for about two hours nonstop. My friend Sam Mather exhorted them all at the beginning and once in the middle and I closed in prayer. Even though there was a worship team on the platform, you could feel the unity of the whole group and the power that I have always imagined in Acts Chapter Two in the Upper Room.
I assure you my dream of pouring the love and life of God into kids and them developing a personal relationship with God for themselves and developing into leaders was manifested before my eyes. It was an awesome night. If you missed it, YOU MISSED IT!--Bob Heath, Founder/Director KFCUSA