On a recent podcast I mentioned that I had recently realized some of our youth ministry’s strenghts were in recruiting and keeping volunteers, but I hadn’t done a great job of celebrating the volunteers as they exit or after they were done with their run. One of the steps I’m taking this coming week as we start the New Year is to write a letter to let them know how much we value their legacy. Here’s the letter, feel free to edit it, use it or be inspired to write your own to the people who have given so much to the youth ministry:
I was thinking about you this week!
As we hit another New Year and our ministry calms down for a while around the holidays, I spent a little much-needed time of reflection on the history and legacy of the High School Ministry at Saddleback Church.
We have tons of amazing volunteers currently serving in HSM, and I’m so thankful for each on of them, but I couldn’t help but think back to the time we shared with you when you were a leader! Your legacy is still felt to this day. Your fingerprints are all over this ministry. We have not forgotten the way you poured into students during your time as a volunteer.
Whether you led a Life Group, showed up faithfully each weekend to serve, or helped with events, you played an essential and critical role in HSM. Our volunteers keep our ministry running. I am so thankful for the time and energy you sacrificed for our students. It is with great confidence I say to you that they vividly remember their high school pastor (YOU!) and learned many life-changing and life-important decisions and lessons because of you.
The thing that keeps our students coming back to HSM is not the hilarious games, the dazzling graphics, or the occasional free pizza. It is the loving adults who are faithful to show up in their lives! I truly mean it when I say YOU are the reason our ministry is still reaching teens for Christ. The students you loved on and believed in are better off because of your life and your dedication to them.
Whatever life looks like for you right now — whether you’re working full time, going to school, raising a family, or going through a huge life transition — (I can relate, I just turned 40 last week – doh!) I am thrilled that we got to do ministry for a season together.
Thank you for letting God use you in the lives of high school students!
Thanks for your legacy,
High School Pastor