Last week I took five devotional books, picked five students and prayed for them and wrote them a letter. Then I took these books and delivered them to each of the students personally. Just stopped by their homes, said Hi gave them the book then headed out.
These students were a mixture of students who I am close to and others who I see on rare occasion. But the same thing happened with each book delivery. The students face lit up and they were stunned that I thought of them and prayed for them and took the time to handwrite a letter.
By giving a simple $10 gift to 5 students, I spent $50 which for sure seems like a lot. But since then I have had some great conversations with those students and been able to speak into their lives. To me, that is the best bang for your buck. When I spend money and it means students will dig into the word of God and talk to me about it, it gets me PUMPED.
It is sometimes difficult to remember that our students don’t know we care about their spiritual lives in between youth group nights or Sundays. We might be at home praying for them, staying awake over the poor choices they have made or even be driven to tears. Giving gifts is a way to break down this barrier. Gifts create a feeling of sentiment and caring.
If you don’t have the ability to spend money on devotionals, you can print some out yourself and make a booklet, or you can simply write a letter with some thoughts about the students faith contained within.
It is the simple things that I believe make ministry powerful in the lives of a student, not the complex programs we put on, or the funny videos we show. It is the relationship building and the sharing of life which makes it great. And what is a better way to celebrate a relationship with someone than giving a gift and the bond which that creates.
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. You can follow his blog at: kylecorbin.blogspot.com or Twitter: @CorbinKyle