Skydiving was one thing I told myself I’d never do; I simply have had no desire. The old saying about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane made sense to me…why would I ever do something like that?
When my friends at Christ In Youth called and asked me if I’d be willing to jump out of an airplane as part of a new set of junior high training videos my first reaction was “HECK NO!” Really good youth ministry training happens all the time WITHOUT jumping from a plane! And then I realized something: I love JH youth workers and want to help people like you feel more confident in your ministry, CIY was inviting me to be part of a training opportunity, and the reality was that they were gonna do this with or without me. IF I DIDN’T WANT TO MISS OUT, I HAD TO JUMP! So yesterday that’s what I did. I was scared. I was certain I hadn’t be trained and equipped well enough. They told us we could back out at the last minute, and I was really tempted to do so (the only thing that kept me from tapping out was that the “flight of shame” back to the ground that would result from not jumping seemed like a far worse fate than actually jumping).
Sooner or later….and probably sooner….you will face a similar situation in your ministry to junior highers. An opportunity will present itself, you’ll like the idea, you’ll be afraid to “jump out of your comfort zone”, and will realize that if you don’t want to miss out, you’ll have to take a chance and JUMP!
– You may be asked to be a counselor at Summer Camp: JUMP!
– You may be asked to lead a 7th grade guys small group: JUMP!
– You may be asked to lead the big fund raiser: JUMP!
– You may be asked to dress up like a chicken and run a game: JUMP!
– You may be asked by a hurting student if you can talk for a minute: JUMP!
It’s permissible to go up in an airplane and NOT jump out of it…millions and millions and millions of people do just that. But it’s not nearly as thrilling as making the decision to jump out of a perfectly good one.
You can play it safe in JH ministry and only do the things you are comfortable with and know you will succeed at. But there will come a time when you are presented with the opportunity to jump….and I hope you will because that’s when junior high ministry gets really exciting!