General Ministry
Josh Griffin

it was a wednesday. when i woke up that morning, my plans were to go get an oil change with the free coupon i had, get things ready for fuel that night, go to fuel, and get in bed early. i had planned to get in bed early because i had planned to leave early the next morning to drive home to see the girl. i haven’t been home to see her since mid-september. she had been making the drive to knoxville the past few times we’d seen each other and it was my turn to come home.

i woke up, got some work done at home, and then drove over to get my free oil change. as i was sitting there in the waiting room working on things for fuel that night, the guy at the oil change place called me over to the desk. he told me that he wanted to show me something and immediately i thought, “well crap, this can’t be good.” he walked me out to the garage where my car was still raised up and started pointing things out to me.

my tires had no usable tread.

the tread cap on one tire was about to be exposed.

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the steel on another tire was about to pop through the rubber.

my face dropped. that changed all of my plans completely. i had to call nicole and tell her that i couldn’t come home. everything that i had planned for that weekend was now down the drain and i was back at square one and only this time, square one included a huge bill for new tires a year before i had planned.

everything ended up working out and nicole ended up surprising me that night right before fuel started. we were able to go to an event at two rivers called quiet waters that was actually very good for both of us. we spent the weekend together and on sunday morning i told her bye and wished her a safe trip home.

in the small group that i co-lead, we have a thing called “high lows.” at the end of the night, after the lesson, we go around and everyone tells what the high point of their week was, what their low point of the week was, and if they had any prayer requests. that sunday night i told them the low point was finding out about my tires and my prayer request was that i could figure out how to pay for them.

after small group that night, without me knowing it, two of my guys decided that they were going to pool their money together to help me get new tires. not only did they do that, but they started asking their friends to help. they started asking other guys in the group to help. they went around saying they had a friend who needed tires so that he could go home for thanksgiving and see his family and his girlfriend.

these guys were freshmen in high school.

when i was a freshman i was completely dork, had a terrible mustache, and did things to try and fit in. i didn’t really think about helping other people. i thought about girls and upperclassmen and who i had a crush on that day (it changed a lot). i didn’t think up ways how i could give what little money i had to someone else.

but this group of guys thought that way.

last night at youth group they came up to me and handed me some money. they told me that was only part of it and that the rest was coming. today i’m meeting up with one of their dad’s to go get tires at a reduced price and him, along with these freshmen, are going to take care of the cost.

i’m so proud that i get to be a part of these guy’s lives.

i’m so proud that i get to help them grow in their relationship with jesus.

i’m so proud that i get to call them my friends.

i couldn’t think of a better way to start off this “this is the church” idea than to brag on these guys. they didn’t have to do what they did. by every normal line of thinking, they shouldn’t have done what they did. they should’ve kept their money and bought a video game or went to a movie or something other than giving it away.

but they saw a need, and they wanted to fix it.

they saw an opportunity to be help someone out, and they did.

they saw a chance to be the church, and they took it.

if the church that we’re raising up right now looks like this group of 14 and 15 year olds then we’re in store for a revolution of the church that most of us can’t even begin to fathom. these guys get it. they get what it means to be a christian. and the beauty of all of this is that they’ve got their entire lives ahead of them. they have the ability to do great things for god.

they have the ability to change the world.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

Jonathan just recently graduated with a master of arts in student ministry and works as an intern in high school ministry in a church in Tennessee. Check out his blog right here.

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  • DrewE says:

    It’s wonderfully encouraging to hear about times when the youth we minister to “get it.” Jonathan’s guys got it, and deserve kudos here.

    But I also would like to give some props to Jonathan. Receiving a gift with grace is often even harder than giving generously; and doubly so when the roles or expectations are somewhat reversed from normal. There’s a challenge here for all of us; are we willing to swallow our pride and accept assistance from our students, or would we (unthinkingly) deny them the blessings of serving us?

  • Jonathan says:

    The idea of accepting money from 14-year-olds was one of the biggest dilemmas I’d ever had. I’d also had some leaders offer to help me out as well. Those guys doing that is something that I will never, ever forget regardless of if I’m only with them for this one year or if I get to stay with them their entire high school career.

  • Holy Land Prayer says:

    Great post Josh. Thank you.

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