This 2016-2017 school year has begun.
We recently celebrated this change of season on Sunday with our Back to School Bash and had a great turnout. More people than I anticipated showed up with lots of celebration and fellowship.
And that's always fantastic to see. I love every second of this particular part of my job. Getting to meet the new faces. Seeing old faces we haven't seen in a while. Welcoming in each of them with arms wider than we can spread. There's nothing like it.
But with thinking about these new faces, it reminds me of the question I'm always asked about a dozen times at the end of every summer: "How many kids are you expecting this year?"
My answer is always the same. NO IDEA.
Now, to be honest, I could always give a rough estimate, but I prefer not to. And the reasons are simple. 1. There's really no way of ever knowing and 2. I really don't care all that much.
That's not to say that I'm not astounded by when we get higher amounts of students than I expected or I'm shocked when we are flooded with people in the youth room. But what I'm saying is, thinking about numbers has never been my game. Others have claimed it has been for me, but it's never really on my mind unless I'm physically asked, "How many people did you have last night?" And that's typically the furthest it goes.
The focus, desire and call from the Lord is to bring the truth of who Jesus is into the lives of students. Plain and simple. Sometimes that's through Bible Study. Sometimes that's through service. Other times that's through hanging out at a Back to School Bash and having a good time with each other.
And I will look forward to doing those things regardless if we have 100 people or 30 or 3.
Because each of the students that ever come to us matter to God.
What they do with their life matters to God.
And I pray to do my best in living that truth into our students, no matter who they are or how many of them we have.
I am incredibly thankful that God continues to bring more young people into our ministry to hear the Gospel. But that will never be the focus
That is not what matters.
Getting to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ with the leaders of tomorrow and doing our best to make disciples who follow after the very heart of God: That is what matters.
And when it's all said and done, witnessing one young heart beating for the one True King is the only number I'll ever care about.
May this continue to be the breath of the student ministry You have called me to, Lord.