Are You Desperate to See?

Jesus didn't die so we could have a religion.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

New Girl

A girl was new tonight. She came with a friend and smelled strongly of alcohol and cigarettes. She was overweight, dressed in boy clothes, complete with trucker hat.

During praise and worship time, her group of friends stood in a row in the back of the room. I watched as they talked. At one point, the new girl's cell phone rang and she answered it. One of the guys who comes regularly told her she should go outside to talk on the phone. She did. She came back a bit later. I was in the middle of a song when the Lord put a burden in my heart to go pray for her. I thought, "No thanks, Lord." Then, "Are you sure Lord?" (I have a bad attitude.)

I went up to her to ask if it would be okay if I prayed for her. I felt that the Lord wanted me to specifically pray about something. (I have no business knowing the things I do when God asks me to pray. I don't want to tell you exactly what I realized about this girl.) When I asked her if I could pray, she momentarily looked like a deer caught in headlights, then looked nervous and confused but nodded anyway. So I leaned in and explained that what I was doing was talking to God about her.

I placed my hands on her and began to speak. I got done praying and went back to my post near the door. She ran out crying. Her group of friends went to go after her. She came back in at one point for a minute or two and then left for most of the rest of the time.

The youth pastor spoke on the basics of who Jesus is and how to witness to friends. We have a lot of new Christians in our group, so this was a good thing to talk about. I was disappointed to see that the new girl didn't make it back in to hear about Jesus. I made eye contact with the friend that brought her, and we went out to find her.

We did find her. She was smoking a cigarette in the car. She came back in for the last two minutes of the youth pastor's talk. After everything was done, I went to go talk to her and just tell her that God loves her. I told her I would call her this week if that was okay and I would be praying for her.

Sometimes my eyes would get in the way of what God would have me do. Sometimes I would rather preach at someone for drinking and smoking or answering a phone during the church service when God would have me be still and use me to pray to show his love and compassion on a broken girl. There is a time and place to raise a standard.

I seem to be able to minister to the teens who don't look like they have any place in church. It is these teens that typically do more evangelizing than those teens raised in Christian homes. It is these teens that I am nervous around. Except in prayer, I never feel like I can say the right thing. I have no "silver bullet" or magic trick to make their problems disappear. They still have to be themselves, in the life they have. I have Jesus to teach. Most of them don't know they are really loved. They are usually in trouble more often than not. We have a lot of teens come through our doors who have already been in jail and are on probation. These teens tend to gravitate towards me. I am so uncomfortable around them, believe it or not. But God uses me anyway and has taught me to hold my tongue in regards to correcting their behavior until Christ gets a hold of them and gives them a reason.

P.S. We have been averaging 25 teens a week after a drastic drop from 100 when we changed nights. Tonight we had 35 teens.


At 10:03 PM, Blogger Catez said...

This is a moving post for me. I was one of those teenagers that was making the wrong choices. I, like you, have a heart for the "tough cases" - because God has a heart for them. Thanks for this.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger jaygee said...

Glad you're in a place where God can use you as an ambassador for Christ to young persons.

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous molly said...

This is coming from a youth minister's wife:

Rock On!

(Go, God!)

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Aaron said...

Awesome! I will join you in prayer for this young lady. As you have read on my blog, I have a troubled young man on my heart that God has placed there for His purposes.

Since we are mentioning prayer request. Pray for me and my fellow youth leaders. We are having a 30-hour famine lock-in this weekend. Our youth are really in need of some depth to their walk. There is nothing I, or any of the other youth workers can say to bring that about, only God can do it. So pray for them to be open to Him. Thanks!


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