14 years ago, i had a girl in my junior high ministry named kristin. she was wonderfully different. she loved to read, was shockingly articulate, had highly developed abstract thinking (for a young teen), and possessed a healthy indifference to our ministry (i mean, she was choosing to follow jesus whether we existed or not). she was on my student ministry team (a leadership team of sorts), and, as a result, i spent a good deal of time with her.
then i lost touch with her for 14 years. until she contacted me through my blog a couple months back. she recently married, and moved to grand rapids (from omaha) to pursue a graduate degree in theology and church history. so last night, i met kristin and her husband at starbucks for coffee, reminiscing, and life-story-telling.
of course, she’s all grown up. but i can still see that 14 year-old in her. and all the things that made her unique and fun as a middle schooler are still very much who she is.
on one hand, i can take very little credit for kristin. but on the other hand, this is what success in youth ministry looks like: a 28 year-old still passionate about following jesus after 14 years.