By Joanie Simms
What have you been learning lately?
I am currently serving at Christian Community Alliance Church in their Junior High Ministry. I have learned a lot from the youth there, not just about faith, but about myself. One thing I learned is my lack of patience and the risk it has on the youth.
Recently, I got really frustrated with a few of my junior high girls and rebuked them harshly on the car ride back. Right after they left, I realized I had made a mistake. Luckily, my co-leader and friend pointed it out to me directly and I had to pray about it and call the girls the next day to apologize. I knew I had done something wrong and that God was humbling me. I had gotten too “power-drunk” in the position.
A few days later our junior high ministry leader, my friend and I all sat down and talked about it. It was great for me to let go of feeling like the burden was on me, and letting God take control of the ministry. I wasn’t doing that for a good half of the year and had let other things influence my interaction and behavior with the kids. I was, in essence, not portraying Christ-likeness to these kids and it had its consequences.
What do you hope will change as a result of this experience?
Since this is my last year (in the foreseeable future) serving in junior high ministry at CCAC, I hope that these changes will be expanded and enforced in our youth leaders and in our new youth leaders who are coming in. I pray for maturity in the youth in their faith and behavior, and for our youth leaders to be able to invest in their lives and to be always intentional when we are with them. I have grown so much from serving the youth, serving alongside my co-leaders, learning from their input and from their teaching styles. I hope to come back again, or serve at another church if God calls me elsewhere.
Joanie Simms is a recent graduate of California State University, Northridge with a bachelors in Journalism-Public Relations. She was born in Berkeley, California, and her parents are ethnic Chinese who immigrated from Thailand. Joanie enjoys music, Thai food, and will try anything at least once, culinary-wise. She also likes hiking, collecting rocks and shells, and is currently training for a half-marathon at the beginning of next year.