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  • Writer's pictureJonny Nelson

My First Season Leading a Wakeboard Ministry

I walked into this summer fresh out of my sophomore year at a private Christian school, where I was studying to become a youth minister. This educational experience set me up for a prideful mindset. I thought that because I had taken Bible classes and knew how to use exegetical materials that I was going to thrive. This was not true. I quickly learned on my first day the kids were not interested in my fancy Bible jargon or about what certain Bible words meant in the Greek or Hebrew. I found myself in a moment of humility, not knowing how to lead a group that I thought wanted to dig into the Bible the way I wanted too.

In a sense I was educated this summer through the Holy Spirit and other leaders on how to use Scripture in practical ways. Riders came from all different backgrounds and for different reasons but the most important thing was that they were struggling. Struggling to make sense of the world around them. They want to know if they should get into drugs, girls or alcohol just like their friends at school. I found it easier to connect with kids if I shared a little about my testimony at each Bible study. In this way I was taking the first leap of vulnerability that would set the pace for future group participation. They were eager to hear how Jesus interacted with life in the Bible. They wanted to know what was it that made Him so different from other things the world proclaims to be the way.

As I spent more time with these kids I got to know them better and found myself praying for them on my time because my heart broke for some of the circumstances they were facing. This built my intentionality toward the kids in the wakeboard program. God was able to use me as He slowly stripped away my prideful attitude that I came in with at the beginning of the summer. As cliché as it is I feel I learned more from these kids than any exegetical assignment I had done in school. My heart was changed through simple interactions with these kids. It only makes me more excited for what Christ is going to do next summer. All I know is that even though I see myself as having a prideful attitude at the beginning of the summer, I still put myself out there for God to use. Therefore, if you are trying to start leading a Bible study or any kind of ministerial, work if you throw yourself out there God will take that as an invitation to change your life. You do not need to be scared of disappointment because God uses broken people to do beautiful things. I pray for all of you new and aspiring future leaders, that you would have a surrendered heart, because that is all that is needed!

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