High school is hard, maybe not from an academic or busy-ness standpoint, but hard nonetheless. It was hard for me because I was trying to find out who I was.
Before high school, I was a christian by belief. I believed in Jesus as my savior and all the other things good evangelical Christians believe. In high school, my beliefs began to change me though. I had older, wiser people in my life who I saw living their faith. They didn’t just believe in doctrine, but they lived that doctrine. In the words of Paul, these people presented themselves as living sacrifices to God. They lived their life to bring God glory. A big part of this for them was passing it on. I was so blessed to have several Bible study leaders who spent so much time loving on me and my friends and helping us see the truth of the Gospel. Not just a gospel that we believe so we can go to heaven, but a gospel that absolutely transforms the way we live in the here and the now.
This was huge, these people were huge, and it changed my life. Most of the leaders I have had were college students. After a couple months as a college student, I have a whole different level of appreciate for what those guys did. College is crazy busy. There’s always something you could be doing academically or socially and managing time is HARD. But they showed up every week to pour into my life. I knew the impact that some cool college student showing up once a week and living and preaching the gospel to high schoolers could have.
Now I’m in their shoes. I just started co-leading a Bible study of 11 of the dopest sophomore high school dudes around. These guys are studs. Leading is hard though, not from a time standpoint. The time I spend with these guys is usually the highlight of my week . It’s hard because I don’t know how to lead. I don’t remember exactly what it was that my leaders said or did that made things start to click for me. A lot of times when I’m leading I look out on inexpressive faces the way I’m sure my leaders did a couple years back.
The one thing I remember about my leaders is that they modeled it. it wasn’t so much the words they said but the way they spent their time and the way they loved on us.
This morning reading with Jared, Nate, and Carter, we read 1 Peter 5. We started reading through 1 Peter arbitrarily a couple weeks ago. There’s so many times that the scripture we come across applies directly to our lives. All four of us are just starting up as Bible study leaders and we were struggling with what leading looks like. Not anymore.
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 Peter 5:1-4
After we read this out loud. Jared just stopped us. “Guys, this is talking about us. This is exactly how we’re supposed to lead our guys.”
He’s right. What a privilege.
7In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned…Titus 2:7-8