This guest post was written by Emily May, a volunteer leader in Boone, NC. You can follow Emily on Twitter @EmilyKMay.
We’ve all been there.
We’ve all done it.
I did it as recently as yesterday.
“I was hanging out with one of my young life girls...”
“Are you going to dinner with one of your guys?”
“One of my girls just really needs to be at camp this summer.”
Where did I get the idea that any of my high school friends belong to me?
It's a dangerous trap to fall into. We invest so much in our high school friends. Money. Time. Energy. So much that sometimes we can begin to take ownership of them. We can start to forget that this is the Lord’s ministry, not ours.
I saw this play out when I took girls to camp last summer. One girl in particular had been incredibly difficult to get to camp. She wasn’t a club kid. She didn’t believe in God. And she had pretty much no interest in Young Life. She had only come because I had begged her, figured out the money situation, and told her there would be plenty of cute boys. Because I had invested so much time and effort into getting her there, once we got to camp I started to panic.
“What if Sarah doesn’t meet Jesus this week?”
Somehow, I had gotten it into my head that her salvation was my responsibility. In my self-centeredness, I was trying to be the rescuer. Then the Lord reminded me of something I was told when I first became a leader.
We are in a ministry of availability not responsibility.
We are called to be faithful.
We are called to be obedient.
We are called to be available.
The rest is up to Him, the only One who can rescue.
Sarah is not “mine.” She is not “my girl.” She belongs to Christ. He loves her more than I can comprehend. He is the One who died for her. He is the One who has called her by name.
As we take kids to camp this summer, let's remember the landscape of eternity will be different afterwards. But not because of us. In spite of all of our efforts, we still fall short. It's our job to point our highschool friends to the only One who does not fall short.
“It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:16