Because I think I need to.
It was fun at Martha’s this past weekend watching the Husker game. Thanks to all the folks who brought wonderful food items. It seems we’re never at a shortage of good food and laughs. I want to update you, my reader, on what has been going on with me. To do so, I have to lay a foundation of background for you. So here goes.
Since I was fifteen, I’ve been involved in leading a church program called Royal Rangers. It is a program much like Boy Scouts or Awanas that teaches boys from kindergarten to 5th grade about the Bible and handy skills such as how to build a campfire, tool safety, and tying a secure knot for just about every possible use. When I went to college three years later, I was connected to the Navigators on campus where I attended and later led Bible studies. From my junior year until the end of my fifth year in college, I led a group of younger college age men in the study of the Bible. This type of thing is something that has been the most enjoyable experience of my life and the chance to disciple a younger believer was a responsibility I took very seriously. I was, of course, still involved in Royal Rangers leading the 3rd-5th grade group. As one who is very active at LCF, I was also a backup singer for Sunday worship and one of the lead ushers.
At the beginning of 2009, with the intent to obtain a teaching degree and coach high school sports, I took some coaching courses that met at the same time that Royal Rangers met and the worship team practiced. (Wednesday and Thursday nights) So, I had to take a break from both. Having been a Royal Ranger leader for 7 years, it was hard to step aside, if even for a semester. Many of the kids I had taught from the beginning of their elementary school experience six years earlier. By God’s grace, I was able to focus wholly on my studies at the university and when summer rolled around, there was an opening in the youth ministry at LCF (Z-360), sponsoring the junior and senior high youth. Since this was dealing with the same age group that I anticipated my career being with (high school teacher), I volunteered.
The past year has been amazing in my new role. I have bonded with the youth of Z-360 in ways similar to the bonds formed when I was leading a Navigator Bible study those three years. In the process of time, our youth pastor felt the leading of the Lord to resign from youth pastoring at the end of this past summer. As the sole remaining youth sponsor, I was thrust into a more prominent role within the ministry. Our lead pastor is taking up as an interim youth pastor until a hire can be made, but a lot of the other things have been delegated to me. We had a blog site running before that the former youth pastor posted on and I of course was a logical choice to continue that. I envision it becoming a good resource for students to receive encouragement and discipleship tools as well as sermon notes and evangelism challenges for their school week. Another thing that I’ve taken head on is the youth worship team. My experiences as a backup singer on Sunday mornings have given me valuable insights for this role. We have our first meeting on Saturday to discuss what we are doing.
Since school started three Wednesdays ago, we have had 9 first time visitors come and 3 accept Christ as their Savior. I truly believe God is doing something mighty in the lives of the youth at LCF and am excited about what will happen next. I see God’s hand in a lot of what has brought me to this position. The coaching classes that caused me to take a break from Royal Rangers, the opportunity to be on the Sunday morning worship team, this past year making friendships with the youth, the experience leading Navigator Bible studies, the way in which I have always used my blog, which frankly is very similar to the direction the youth blog is set up.
In the past year, I have failed to be accepted into the Teacher’s college twice. It seems that open-mindedness is encouraged there only if your open mind doesn’t challenge the official position of the college. I am now a history major with a geography minor, planning on that December 2010 graduation. I have been working as a student painter at Burr/Fedde, the residence halls on East Campus, for three years and I enjoy that type of thing a lot. I am starting a construction type business, doing things like roofing (thank you Martha and Kenny for that experience), drywalling, painting, and staining. I have two jobs already lined up, so it’s coming along. I guess it’s a third if you include the bookshelf I promised Rebekah I’d build for her.
Another thing I get a lot of questions about is Joe and I’s book. Though Joe is too busy now to work on it with me, I still find time to continue writing it. It has over 380 pages so far and there is about 2 and a half chapters left before the first draft will be finished. I see some places where I need to revise in a major way and some parts that were really skimmed over to go on to other parts of the book that I have to go back and finish. My Spanish professor has offered to help me publish it when it is done, but that might be sometime in the distant future as revising, of course, takes a lot of time.
JA Menter 3