This guest post was written by Cindi Hancock, a volunteer YL leader in NC. Cindi struggles with snorting while laughing and uneasiness with knowing where to put her hands when not wearing pocketed pants. You may recognize her as the desperate single college student who recently tweeted: "Agreed to go on a date with a guy in exchange for him to buy my YL girls' coupons for fundraising to go to YL camp. #desperate @totalYLmove."
“Earn the right to be heard.” As Young Life leaders, we constantly hear that phrase. It's practically engraved in our minds when we're taught the ins and outs of what it means to be a Young Life leader.
I've always kept that concept in mind when driving the half hour to go see kids after school for the brief five minutes. Satan always manages to put thoughts in my head.
“Why are you doing this Cindi? No one even cares to see you after school.The kids are all in a rush to get out of there.”
Or even when I am going to hang out with some high school girls and they want to go across town to get Mexican food. Satan always manages to put thoughts in my head.
“All Mexican food’s the same. Why do I have to drive an extra half hour to go to this place? I guess I just won’t eat anything since I spent all of my money on gas. Are you kidding me, Mexican again?”
You get the picture. However at the end of the day, I remember that I am doing things that seem so unnecessary to get to a bigger purpose: to bring kids life.
As a college student, I'm active in many organizations and programs on my campus. I have also been kicked out of a few because I am never there on Monday nights (club), missed that meeting on Wednesday night (campaigners), showed up half way through the meeting I was supposed to host (a crying Young Life girl needed me), got a B when I could’ve easily made an A because I was busy making a power point (club songs).
You who are reading this are probably laughing because it’s happened to you, too. However, my college friends and professors don’t get it. When I try to tell them I am doing these things to show people who Jesus is, they tell me that taking kids to the airport to watch people reunite is not sharing the gospel. That getting Chick- Fil- A with a high school girl does not count as a “Jesus thing”, just because they play Christian music. That going to high school games and screaming in the student section is not justification for why I couldn’t make that meeting. But in the end, I know that these are all lies. Earning the right to be heard is what I am doing at Chick-Fil-A, it’s what I am doing when I make a fool out of myself at club, it’s what I am doing when I sit in that intimidating student section. (ps-for all of you who don’t know what Chick-Fil-A is, I am truly sorry!)
I was recently reading in John 10 where Jesus speaks metaphorically about shepherding his flock. This is a very familiar passage to many, but when I most recently read it, the spirit was whispering to me, “Cindi, earn the right to be heard.”
Wowza, this scripture is exactly that. If you look at John 10:3-5, Jesus says, “He calls his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all of his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice."
To all of you leaders out there, be encouraged by this! Continue earning the right to be heard! Remember, these high school friends will never listen to a voice they don’t recognize. Show up big time in their life so that they may have the chance to have life, and to one day know the voice of our Shepherd.
Please leave any comments for Cindi below.