There is this verse in Exodus 33 that really sums up why I love doing youth ministry. The chapter is talking about how Moses had set up a tent outside of camp and called it the “Tent of Meeting”. Anyone could go there at any time and pray. It was a little retreat for anyone who needed it. But when Moses went there, God showed up in a very special way. Here’s the verse I love:
“11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”
Moses knows God and is known by God. Remember, Moses was a wealthy trust fund baby who killed a man. He was a coward who hid when there was trouble. He was a wimp who argued with God when God directly told Him what to do. He was hot tempered and volatile. But He loved God, and God loved him. So God would meet with him like one friend hangs out with another.
But catch that phrase at the end. His young aide Joshua did not leave the tent. This dude from his youth group lived out at the tent of meeting. Why? Because he wanted to be where God was. Even though God only showed up from time to time, it was enough. He didn’t want to miss a minute. So even when Moses left, he stayed.
I love that about students. They will do or give whatever it takes when they decide something is worth living for. They are passionate, sacrificial, and dedicated when they set their mind to something. I love this bit about Joshua. It makes me love and respect him so much. And it gives me hope. What God was doing in him, He is doing in students today. I see it. God continues to work like this in our kids. And it’s just as exciting now as it was then.
I love youth ministry.