I recently wrote an email to our High School Youth leaders who are currently “assisting” our students in running Youth Alpha. I sensed that because the adults don’t have a “defined” role that we might struggle with our function. And function is how we often try to define ourselves.

Here is what I wrote:

Adult High School Youth Leaders,

I don’t know if this is a thing or not, but just in case it is I felt compelled to say this to all of you:


A pervasive lie among the prince of darkness is to convince all humans, redeemed Christian humans especially, that you are useless if you are not doing a function and thus unnecessary.

We are not human “doings” but human beings. The act of showing up in and embodied (human) and proximate (close) form is powerful; this is your presence. Any “doing” or action that happens after that is a byproduct, a fruit of your presence. And actually, those of us who claim that Jesus Christ is our Lord, we believe that when we show up (presence) that is not us, but Jesus we are bringing to bear wherever we are, all by faith. And any doing that happens is a byproduct, a fruit of that faith (definitely not as a result of our own strength, but God’s!).

All to say, some of you might not have a function during Youth Alpha these next 9 weeks. And some of you might start to feel “useless” or unnecessary because we are not “doing” the kind of things we were before. Hey, it’s easy for me to start to feel this way. I start to feel that I don’t matter; like: what good am I really anyway for these students? That is NOT true.

Let me tell you what is true:


Your presence in the Main Street Theatre room these next 9 Wednesday nights is like a B-12 shot for these students. They couldn’t do what they are doing among their peers if they didn’t have adults who believed in them, supported them, encouraged them, funded them, assisted them, etc. You are the backbone, the pillar, the rocks they can count on to have the confidence to do what they are doing. It’s almost like we as adults are the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12:1 that surrounds those who are running the race with their eyes fixed on Jesus. We adults get to be the cheerleaders on the front lines with them encouraging their socks off as they run.

So sit in a group with your students. Encourage them. Cheer them on. Be the kind of small group participant in your students’ small group that you have always wanted them to be in your group :). Tell them that what they did was incredible!

Wouldn’t it be great for our students to feel such a sense of support from every single one of their small group leaders each and every week of Youth Alpha that they will be able to accomplish some amazing things because they could count on the encouragement that we poured into them over these few months?!

I’m not saying that this is a thing. But just in case it is a thing, know that you are vitally important to the kingdom of God during this time, our students need our full support, and your presence and words of encouragement are full of life to these students as the weeks go on!

I am so thankful for each one of you… all unique in your own way. I am thankful that these students have you in their lives. What an amazing community of people that the LORD assembled for such a time as this!!

See you tomorrow night!

Photo credit: Neil Thomas on Unsplash