Young Life Capernaum

Young Life Capernaum

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stepping Into Different Roles

I have a lot of favorite parts of my job. I guess that’s part of why I can always say that I love my job. Of course, there are things that I could do without, but when my days look like they do, it makes it pretty easy to push through those things. Something that I have been particularly excited about lately is getting to help some of our Capernaum friends around the division step into different roles.

For some, it’s getting to do work crew or summer staff this summer. I’m thrilled about them getting to spend a month at a YL camp where they will work tirelessly to serve hundreds, if not thousands, of campers. They will fold towels, make beds, wash dishes, serve meals, clean game rooms, fill water balloons, pass out safety glasses and so much more. All for free, all so kids can encounter Jesus.


For so many of our ministries, it’s the transition that they are walking through where they are graduating their older friends into church ministries or other opportunities. This has been a goal of ours for the past few years and it seems to really be taking off this year. Building relationships with churches takes time and none of us were ready to just send our friends off to something that didn’t exist or that we didn’t believe in. Thankfully, churches around the division are stepping up to say “yes” to our friends with disabilities, yes the church is in incomplete without them, yes we aren’t quite sure how to do this but we will, yes we believe we’ll be better for it. Just a couple of weeks ago I was sitting at the Regional Special Olympics Basketball tournament. Many of our friends in YL Capernaum are on teams, as well as many of the young adults that graduated into a ministry called The Ascent, run by three churches. My heart exploded when I looked down the bleaches to see volunteer leaders (with their own young children) from the Ascent, filling a row, cheering on their new friends. The buzzer sounded and they jumped off of the bleachers, charged the court and were high fiving our friends. They get it… it is all about relationships. A bench-clearing buzzer redefines what they signed up for, not a program, but a relationship.

And for my friend Owen, it means making another mark in Young Life’s history. Owen is one of our Capernaum alumni from Fayette County, GA. His YL leader taught him about being a leader and about how to use his gifts and talents to serve others. He’s done program (the funny guys) for clubs, a few training events and even a weekend but this summer he’ll be the first person with a disability to serve on a YL Assignment team in a program role. He’ll be a part of the humor in camp for thousands. And not humor in the eyes of the world, where people would laugh at him. But humor in the eyes of Christ, where kids walls will break down, they will enjoy pure humor, they will laugh with their peers and they will be reminded that the world is a bit bigger than themselves. Owen’s taking the stage and it’s sure to be amazing!

As I sit in the Denver airport today, I find my heart exploding over these great stories and the knowledge that with every new Capernaum ministry comes the opportunity for moments like these years down the road. It’s just all so good.

Thanks for praying with us and cheering us on!