This week we had the chance to sit down with three of our incredible youth leaders and talk about why they are investing their time in the next generation
Start With One
Behind the energetic and smiling faces of the Makers Church Youth leaders are a team of people with a deep-seated belief that the youth are our future. For most of us, we remember middle and high school with cringe like responses. No matter what your teenage years were like, chances are you can identify with this sometimes awkward, definitely odd, middle stage of life. I mean, who let us get those awful haircuts for crying out loud?! For many young people (terrible haircut or not), this season of life is when you step out of what was, and either boldly leap, or slump into the next stage.
The Makers Youth team is committed to creating a safe space for the youth of San Diego to engage in authentic and bold conversation around faith, fear and all things in between. Simply put, their goal is to help youth take the big leaps and soften the blow if they do end up slumping instead. This week we had the opportunity to sit down with some of our incredible youth leaders and get a deeper glimpse into why they volunteer their time to invest in the next generation.
What is your drive behind devoting time to youth?
“I started a Christian club myself at my Highschool when I was attending. And it honestly lit a fire to keep helping out students. After graduating, I’ve just had that desire to help out students. I’ve been in the shoes of the high school student and I know what it feels like to struggle. I do not want our students to struggle alone too”. -Oscar Garcia
“Going through teenagehood can be an awkward, adventurous and mildly bizarre. During my own high school days, when I felt like things were crumbling around me, it was through my youth leaders that I was redirected to who and where my worth came from. I show up to lead youth because having someone who cares and will listen makes a world of difference in knowing God’s love” –Emily Bullen
What do you hope youth will take away from the time you invest in them?
“My hope is that they see God and Makers as a lighthouse where they can find direction. Middle school and High school are hard places to be, and my goal is to show them through the time and energy of all the leaders that we care and are there for them. We don’t have all the answers, but we will listen”. -Oscar Garcia
“My hope for these kids would be that they truly understand how God sees them. This way, regardless of the path their life takes, they always know exactly where they stand. That they are loved, valued and forgiven”. –Vaughn Triolio
What have you learned the most through volunteering with Makers Youth?
“God is reminding me of the importance of equipping our youth to actually know God. To know what it is like to live a sustainable life with Jesus beyond a Sunday morning.” –Vaughn Triolo
“Community! A student honestly won’t really listen to you if you don’t know them. You can speak great words, but if a student doesn’t really know you, it only gets so far. No human was designed for isolation, and that especially applies to students”. -Oscar Garcia.
“If we merely greet our stunning youth on a Sunday, the vital element of mentorship in community is missing. The reason mentorship is so important in this stage of life is learning that you are not alone, and you are worthy of time and love.” – Emily Bullen
What if we took a cue from our Youth Leaders and looked at the youth of today with bright eyes? What if we saw past the drama and attitude and bad wardrobe decisions to see the depth of love, strength, and compassion that each of our youth possesses? If we focus on listening, supporting and walking alongside them in life, the future of our world will transform for the better. The greatest hope our world has is those who will come after us; we cannot wish for a brighter tomorrow if we are not willing to invest in those who will be leading the charge. The good news is that big changes start with the soul and life of one individual being transformed. Just like the parable of the 1 missing sheep, Makers Youth Leaders are dedicated to fiercely supporting and loving our youth. May we all be brave enough to leave the 99 and chase after the 1.