rebelling against low expectations

How can I make a difference in my church?


FAITH WRITES: I’m only 14, and my church isn’t that big, (it’s kind of medium sized), but I really want to have an impact. I’ve tried talking to my Youth Pastor, my Pastor, and various other people who hold leadership positions in my church about outreach ideas and more, but the more I talk to them, the more I realize how complacent they have become.

I want God to use me to minister in my community, but I can’t do it alone, and I can’t seem to find anyone in my church who wants to help me out.

Everyone I’ve spoken to about starting an outreach project or something of the like, acted like it was a great idea, but they never go anywhere with it. I don’t know what to do. I want to make a difference, and I want to lead, but I don’t know how. Anyone have any advice?

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  • This is something I’ve been struggling with as well. In fact, about 45 minutes before I got onto here, I just finished a book called “Unlikely,” by Kevin Palau, which is about this very topic. I’d recommend it as an inspirational read about reaching your community for Christ.

    First, I would look for some non-profit ministries. Whether or not they’re a Christian ministry, this can be a great starting point for reaching your community and making connections. About 35-45 minutes away from me, there’s a Christian rescue mission for homeless people or people directly from jail where they can come and learn how to set up a home and where they can live for a while without having a lot of money. I’ve volunteered there and our church has made some good connections.
    Second, pray! Pray that God will move in the hearts of your church leaders. Pray that God will be moving in your community.
    I know there are many of us who would love to do hard things but no one wants to join us. The struggle is real. Keep pressing on!

  • Well, if no one is willing to make a move or even just support you, maybe you just aren’t going to be able to do something at your church at this point. You can’t make people motivated. Community, doesn’t exactly have to include church. You can try to do other things that don’t require support from pastors and church leaders, and maybe by doing those other things, you can spark an interest in you leaders.

    I think that if you are willing to do hard things, God will provide hard things for you to do. But of course, sometimes God might not give us big opportunities, simply because we’re not ready and he wants to help us prepare more first. Be patient and do the little things as you look for opportunities to do the little things.

  • Hey Faith, thats hard to hear.

    First, to be affective ministers of the Gospel; we need to be in God’s word. The more we read & study the Bible the more God will work in and thru you.

    Second, it is uber important to find heathly christian community. If that isn’t available in your current church find it another place (maybe another local church, school club, ect…). And seek around in your church. Families who have been part of the church awhile can be a good place to start.

    Praying for God’s joy in your life 🙂

    • Yeah, I get what you’re saying, but our church isn’t totally dead, and I can’t exactly move churches without my parents… Oh, and I wouldn’t get to see one of my best friends if I did that either. I think that if you could actually get the leaders together to talk about the direction of our church, then something would definitely help, but that’s one thing we lack.. communication.

      • Hey, I understand what your saying. Each situation is unique; don’t leave your friend or family 🙂

        If you get the chance…See if you can go to a conference (check dare2share out!) or camp/retreat. They are a great way for students & leaders to refocus on God!

        • I have seriously wanted to go to a dare2share conference!!! But unfortunately I can’t see that happening. I actually mentioned it to my Youth Pastor once, but he didn’t respond, soo… :/

          Thanks for the advice. 🙂

    • Good point about finding community, could you maybe clarify about looking outside of church for that? Can you back it up biblically? Sorry to jump in, just wondering.

      • Yeah, I mean finding belivers to engage with. Which should be in your church. But if your church doesn’t have poeple your age. Then maybe try finding a christian youth group, or christian school group.

        Community is a principle thru-out scripture, but a specific passage would be Hebrews 10: 24-25

        • Which comes again to each situation is unique.

          And sorry @Faith I think i’m veering off from your original question, I digress!

        • Okay, cool. I definitely agree that we need people to get us through life, but do they have to be your age? What do you think about the relationship between young and old in Titus 2? Thanks!

          • Hello! Yes having other aged people is important, especially to be discipled by a more mature (and usually older) believer, but having people your age is good too 🙂

  • I know what you mean, I’ve been struggling with this too. I think the way to help your church is to be there for them, and to stay committed. Go to all the meetings you can because sometimes just showing up is a huge encouragement. Spend time with your church and try to talk about things that matter. They’re not going to be perfect, but as long as you’re trying to grow together you’re good.

  • Don’t lose heart! If this is something God wants you to be doing, He will provide to make it work!

    Kyle had an awesome point, maybe try to look for organizations outside your church that you can get involved with for community outreach. Community outreach doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start something from scratch. Maybe you could do something along the lines of a CEF Good News Club or maybe it’s as simple as putting together bags of food with Gospel tracts in them to give out to homeless people when you see them on the side of the road. Or maybe it’s volunteering at a local Boys & Girl’s Club where you can invite kids to get to know God. Find a way that you can reach out based on the needs and strengths of your community.

    If you want to get your church to be involved, start with your family. A majority of the hard things accomplished by teenagers wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the families God has blessed us with. You mentioned one of your best friends goes to your church – invite her to do something with you so you can serve your community together and where you think God may be pulling you.

    Get involved in your community and stay passionate about this! It’s contagious, and believe me, people notice. Il.p.nvite others from your church to join you.

    And be patient, but don’t give up on your church leaders. God has them there for a reason, even if it sometimes doesn’t feel that way. If your church is anything like mine, change can come slowly sometimes. Keep asking your youth pastor about stuff like this. In my experience, church leaders have awesome intentions, but sometimes can get caught up in all the other stuff that has to be done. Keep bringing up ideas, and it doesn’t have to start out as something huge, either. My youth group has gone and volunteered at a local food pantry for a day before, and it’s always so much fun and an awesome to help those in need.

    I’m sorry this got so long…I hope it’s a little helpful! 🙂 And I’m praying for you, Faith! Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Sam! I would actually love to get involved with stuff in my community, but it’s a process, I’ve been begging my mom to let me volunteer…for a while.

      The friend is a guy, but I think that he would definitely be interested, he’s pretty busy, but maybe I can see if we can get together on something, thanks!

      Yeah, I know, it’s just really hard. Haha, I feel like I already drive my YP crazy with all of my ideas and projects and things! Haha. I actually did get him to go through with the idea of an evangelism group, but then he rescheduled it and put it on hold, sooo I’m still bugging him about that..

      Thanks so much for the advice and the prayers! I really do appreciate it!

  • Faith, that is sad that others in your church aren’t interested in collaborating, but I would encourage you to think about the fact that even though it might be nice to reach out to unbelievers through a group or ministry, you are not restricted to that. Often the life of one passionate Christian living in step with Christ can be more effective than a whole ministry, if the ministries heart is not right. Look for ways you can impact a given individuals life, pointing them to Christ. Maybe it’s a child in your neighborhood who is lacking love who you could hang out with, and point to Christ. Or a pier who doesn’t know the Lord. Or really anyone who needs Jesus whom you come in contact regularly with. I know in our world today this might not be viewed as being a big impact, but who cares what people think. The Bible says that God rejoices at the returning of one single sheep!
    by His breath, Dorothy Elaine

    • Thanks, Elaine! I’ve actually been thinking about maybe starting a Bible study with some younger girls I know if I could get that together, thanks for the encouragement!

  • You don’t need to go straight to the leaders. you can star by trying to spread your faith. Sometimes people in my church go out and spend a day passing out our churches contact infoinvites and inviting people out. You could try to do that with some people you know.

  • Dear Faith, I think that you should start with doing something that people don’t usually notice (like cleaning after the children in Sunday school). Start small and be faithful and eventually you’ll discover something you love doing and it will bring glory to our God. Hope I helped a little.


    • I agree, small is the best way to start. Doing things that won’t be noticed by others can be slightly discouraging when you notice the lack of praise, but when that happens, think about who you’re doing it for: are you helping out in church for your glory, the church’s glory, or God’s glory? Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
      Anyway, that’s great that you want to do something in the church! Keep at it!

  • I’m having trouble fitting in. My church is kind of small but I used to have a lot of friends but now I only have 2 or 3. I teach Sunday school and work the sound room. It seams like I’m never doing anything right and every one is picking on me. How can I still gave a Godly attitude when all I want to do is quit and run away from everything?

    • Hey, it’s okay to be human. Even if you mess up people understand, trust me, (I’m a klutz so I’ve tested this.) Probably the most godly thing to do is admit your doubts to somebody who knows what’s going on, ask for prayer, and then get back to doing whatever God gives you to do — nursery duty included. Hope this helps!

    • Hey Martina 🙂 I just said a prayer for you, and I want you to know that you’re not the only one who feels like quitting sometimes. It’s okay. God promises He will help you get through whatever hard things He’s giving you to do right now. Don’t lose heart, sister! <3

  • I think there’s a lot you can do in the church internally too. I’ve been going to my church for eight years. It’s a crazy small church, with like 150-200 people at best. Isn’t it weird that I’ve gone for so long and yet only know 1/3 of the people? Maybe try introducing yourself to some people you’ve never met before. That’s definitely one of my goals.
    Another thing is you could try setting a goal to be one of the first to introduce and learn a bit about a new visitor at the Sunday morning service.
    This has probably already been stated, but maybe try starting a Bible study?

  • Start small. Right now I am on my church worship team (which means I live my worst nightmare every week. being up front) I’ve helped with kids and just try to smile to all the fine folks in my small, midwest church. You can do a lot just being in the background. Making a difference doesn’t mean you have to be up front. I’ve heard so many times what a blessing it is when people volunteer and cheerfully take on the tasks that no one else wants to do. This can be anything from heading up the year’s annual VBS to scrubbing toilets once a month.
    As what needs to be done that no one else wants to do. I promise, you will make a difference. Maybe the people won’t know, but God will and that is all that truly matters.

rebelling against low expectations

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