Last Minute Changes is an entry in our ongoing project, Dispatches from the First Year. To learn more, click here.
I am all about stories, so let me share one with you![This happened sometime in October 2011]
It was like any other Sunday morning; I spent time in the morning going through the tedious rituals of preparing to look my “Sunday best.” I hopped into Zoey, my 2007 bluish/green Pontiac Vibe, and drove to church while singing to a mix of Worship songs. As usual, I got to church with 10 minutes before 8:30 service begun, mainly because I like to be early. As I sat in my pew, I read the bulletin enjoying the news of numerous church activities when my boss, Lawrence comes up to me and says, “Chris [one of our AMAZING Sunday school teachers] is not going to be here today, you are going to have to teach his class. After this service we’ll go down to my office and print off the curriculum for today’s lesson.” If you know anything about me, last minute is not how I roll. To say the least, I was not pleased with this unexpected news. However, I did not let it affect the remainder of the service; once the service ended both Lawrence and me hurried down to his office and pulled up the curriculum. I began to panic when there were NINTEEN pages for this one lesson. This was my first time using this particular Sunday school curriculum and I was not sure that those 10 minutes before Sunday school would be enough time for me to retain the information and main points that were in this massive chunk of paper. I won’t lie, I got snippy with Lawrence and expressed my frustration, but as always Lawrence assured me it’ll be okay and helped me find the purpose of the Sunday school lesson. The lesson emphasized the importance of studying and reading the Bible. As I sat in the room and youth began to pour in, internally, I knew this was going to be a hard lesson to teach because I was struggling with this topic myself.
Thankfully, I have a great group of High School youth who were very engaged in the lesson and understanding to the situation. As we discussed the importance of reading and studying the Bible, I asked the youth if they found it difficult to read the Bible, and why? Hands flew into the air. Numerous of them expressed that it was hard to find time to read the Bible. Many of them felt as if their schedules were busy enough, and when they get down time they’d rather just nap or sit in front of the TV. This themed echoed from many of the students and without much forethought I said, “With all that Jesus Christ did on the cross, the sacrifice He made, how difficult is it for us to sacrifice 15-30 minutes of sleep in the morning, or TV?” As those words rolled off my tongue I knew I was preaching to myself, I kept thinking to myself, “Sam, seriously how hard is it for you to sacrifice thirty minutes from sleep in the morning to spend time with the Lord?”
Although I am seen as a leader in Youth Ministry I am still learning. I have also realized I want to be an example to these youth. By no means do I want to be a hypocrite but rather let my actions be a reflection of my faith.
My wake-up schedule depends on the week and around my work-out schedule. However, I have implemented that every morning either before I work-out or before I get ready for the day I spend the first 30 minutes doing my devotion, in prayer, journaling, or singing praise to Him. I want to sacrifice myself for the Lord but I also want to be a living example to my youth!
Samantha is a 22 year-old newbie, serving 200 students at the North Raleigh United Methodist Church in North Carolina. She will graduate in May 2012 from Asbury University, with a degree in Communications and an emphasis in Leadership. She is blessed with an amazing family that includes two great parents, three sisters, two brothers-in-law, and two nephews.