An Open Letter From A Student Minister
By: Trevor Goehring
When I walked onto the campus of my church in Franklin, TN for the first time in August 2017 I had no idea what to expect. It was my first job in ministry and I felt that I had all the answers. Thankfully that couldn’t have been further from the truth because over the last few years I have learned more from these students than I ever could’ve imagined. We’ve laughed, cried and worshipped together, and it is these experiences that have helped me grow into the man I am today.
I am only able to spend a few hours each week with them and I pray that they enjoy that time as much as I do. I have made it a priority in my ministry to always be available. Because when a student comes to this church I want them to know that they are loved and that this is a place to grow. When they see me, I hope they see Christ shining through the body of a ridiculous Minister that would do absolutely anything for them, and has a lot of fun in the process.
I am a firm believer that when Jesus ministered to those around Him, He met a physical need first and foremost before helping them spiritually. So, if that means I play basketball, watch them in their school play, or simply listen to their struggles, my desire is to be someone that students know will always be there for them.
I have seen these students battle. Adversity comes in many forms, but transitions seem to be the most prevalent. My time as a student growing up was full of transitions as well, so I thought I might share some of the things I learned from my time as a student and as a minister.
1. Food will always bring people together.
2. From 4 to 400 gathered together, the Spirit will move.
3. Students need to let off steam. Play dodgeball, go to the movies, HAVE FUN!
4. Be a family.
The 5th lesson was most important for me as a student. Find a mentor that will pour into you, and will always be there for you.
As a student, I had that mentor. His name was Chris Meeker. And when Chris passed away a few years ago I saw so many students that he poured into, testify to the love that he had for us, regardless of what was happening in our lives. We laughed, cried, and worshipped together. To this day Chris was the most influential man in my life. He helped me see the importance of growing closer to God on a daily basis. And in a way, God used him in my life to show me my calling, that I too can be the mentor that students so desperately need.
If you had told me that one day I would be pouring into students I would have laughed, but not Chris. He would have told you that I was going to change the world; because that’s how much he believed in me.
The thought of being that type of mentor to students brings tears to my eyes. Because I know how influential it is. Ministry is tough, but it’s so much fun.
Regardless of your age, I would encourage you to find your Chris, and if you have that mentor already, Hallelujah! Now go and mentor the next generation of believers. I have had so many mentors in my life, I pray that I can have half the influence on others that they had on me!
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