This moment was positively the best “Thank You” anyone could have ever given our group, and we want to encourage more experiences like this at the local church level.
Here’s what happened …
The MIX team was about to wrap up the last four-day event of the summer for middle schoolers. We had a rhythm – from set-up to tear-down – because we’d done it 22 times. In four hours a venue goes from roaring voices and streaming lights to quiet walks to vans and every piece of equipment is on a truck.
We. Were. Tired.
In the middle of our tear-down process, a small group of leaders from the Valley Real Life Church in Spokane, Washington approached our swarming activity. Everybody stopped what they were doing to listen to the youth worker who spoke up first. One thing we heard echoed in their “Thank You” was this common phrase: “We see your joy.” In those words were truths sent directly from God. It was like the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to us.
The CIY MIX team loves traveling and loves pouring into thousands of kids every summer from coast-to-coast. We find no better joy than directing people to Jesus. But make no mistake about it – running 22 events over 10 weeks is EXHAUSTING! It’s easy to become irritable or to check out as the summer goes along, though we do our best to guard against that and to encourage one another through those moments of weakness. So when we heard the message “we see your joy and we’re grateful,” we felt replenished. It was a gift from the Lord when this small group prayed over us.
Giving encouragement is one of the best ways the church loves, and we felt it. It was such a simple thing – to stop us, thank us and pray for us – and I watched it completely revitalize our team. I can’t express how much it meant to us, but it makes me wonder what other groups out there also need this kind of Holy Spirit pause in their rhythm?
Prayer is our greatest weapon and our greatest support. Use it when you thank any volunteer group at your church. The Holy Spirit finds a way to speak directly to individuals to replenish and sustain. I know because I saw it and I felt it.
We love God’s Church for many reasons – and this is one. And we can’t wait to serve again next summer.
Mallory Jenkins is a MIX program coordinator for Christ In Youth. Her email is Mallory.firstname.lastname@example.org.