Ministry Teams at NMC: Student Ministries
By NMC - May 12, 2016
So many incredible people serve on Ministry Teams at NMC. This month, we want to share the stories of just a few of them. Thank you to all who serve so faithfully! We are so grateful for all you do.
Five days a week, Laura Miller works at Goshen Hospital. One night a week, she leads a small group of high school girls. They talk about school and relationships and the Lord. They laugh a lot and learn to be silly with one another. In sweet moments of vulnerability, they open up to one another and share the more delicate parts of their stories. This group has grown together and learned to love one another well. For Laura, leading this group has become one of the most rewarding things she’s done.
After graduating from college, Laura started to attend NMC. She spent her first year here detached from the ministries and communities offered, because she felt intimated by the sheer number of people in the church. She didn’t know many people, and she didn’t know how to find her niche. Around that time, a friend encouraged her to get involved in Student Ministries and reassured her that if it wasn’t her niche, she could find another ministry.
So she took a single step and decided to be a high school small group leader. Now two years later, she’s so thankful for the friend who challenged her to take this step. As her small group met week after week, they began to develop trust for one another and for Laura. In those moments of trust, she got to see behind students’ walls. These became sweet times when students allowed themselves to be seen for who they truly are, and they became the reason why Laura continually invests in her small group.
Before she jumped into Student Ministries, she was intimidated by the thought of building new relationships, but God had bigger plans than she could imagine. Over the past two years, she has watched God overcome her fears and exceed her expectations. What she expected to be an awkward experience has become something she looks forward to every week.
When she tells her story to others, she reminds them that she only needed to trust the Lord and take one step. She needed to be obedient to where He was leading, and this is what the Lord asks of each of us. Taking this one step has transformed her life, and it has given her the opportunity to help transform other people’s lives.
God has gifted each of us with different talents and abilities and passions. Garett Hiester is passionate about building relationships and leading people into worship. For the past six years, he has served as a middle school small group leader. More recently, he also decided to serve on the middle school worship team as well as on Sunday mornings as a table leader for middle school.
Six years ago Garett was hesitant. His schedule was overcrowded, and he felt anxious about joining a Ministry Team. The time commitment was overwhelming to him, and it seemed easier to do nothing. But the Lord kept pushing and prodding him to take a single step. What seemed like a burden soon became the thing he looked forward to each week. As he dove into the lives of those in his small group, he found himself thankful to be part of their stories. He only had one hour a week with them, but as they spent the school year together, they began to open up and share their stories.
He will never forget walking with one student in particular who was going through rough circumstances both with family issues and general life challenges. As this student shared his story, Garett was able to speak truth into his life and remind him of the Father’s love. Suddenly, the time commitment and the nerves he felt about being a small group leader were no longer an issue, because the Lord was doing something much bigger than Garett could imagine.
The guys Garett had in small groups six years ago are now seniors in high school. Over the years, he has been given the opportunity to watch them grow into young men who are seeking the Lord. It’s things like this that keep him tied into this Ministry Team. Not only has God grown Garett in the gifts He has given him, but He also has allowed him to be part of Kingdom work.
As Garett thought about jumping into Middle School Ministry six years ago, he felt the Lord asking, “if not you, then who?” When Garett shares his story with others, he tells them about the stirring the Lord placed in his heart. So often, this is the question that is asked of us. If not you, then who?
Garett is thankful for the courage to respond to this stirring. Through this obedience, God has done exceedingly more than he could have imagined.
Thank you to all who serve on the Student Ministries team! Whether you are a small group leader on Wednesday nights or are a table leader on Sunday mornings, we are grateful for you and for the ways you serve.
If you would like to get involved in Student Ministries, click here or stop by Ministry Team Central on Sundays or Wednesdays in the Grand Hall!