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The Payoff

For years in Youth Ministry I wondered if anything I was doing was worth it. You get cycles of kids who come through, change on a retreat only to go back to their old ways once they get back home.

Last night however I had a sense of pride swell up as I saw probably the two greatest people I had the opportunity to guide through their teenage years come and take pictures in my lawn as they headed for prom.

The story isn't that simple. You see, this young woman and this young man are from two separate ministries. Mikael is from Corpus Christi, TX and was a part of my youth ministry there while Ashley is a product of my ministry here in Virginia. They met almost 2 years ago when I invited the Texas group up to minister with our Focal Point Church youth department. Seeing the two groups come together that week was something special but to see what I saw last night is simply amazing.

Mikael and Ashley had kept in touch via phone and email for the year following the two groups meeting. Then last summer Mikael decided to come and intern with me at Focal Point. He and Ashley started dating and the rest is history in progress. Mikael is one year older than Ashley and Mikael has made his way to Liberty university (he knows what's up) and Ashley is graduating in a few weeks. She's also headed to LU next year so it looks like these two sweethearts will be continue their relationship into their college years and possibly beyond.

When Kristy and I arrived here 4 years ago and met Ashley we recall saying to one another (she would be perfect for Mikael). Little did we know.

Congratulations on your graduation Ashley! I hope every Youth Pastor gets to see this type of payoff. It's worth it.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, May 13, 2006


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