Wandering

Posted on by Jason Farley

Mario* accepted Christ in the Campus Life club at Montgomery Middle School last fall. But, as all sheep tend to do, he has wandered and searched for direction since then. I am very thankful for a recent club that spoke to his heart and for the opportunity to talk with him and listen as he shared about learning to listen to Jesus’ voice.

We recently finished up a series of clubs related to the life of David. As I read Psalm 23 to the students and talked about Jesus being the Good Shepherd, something clicked for several of these students. For many of them, this was the first time they had thought of themselves in comparison to a sheep.

As we talked about sheep and shepherds, several characteristics came to light. To put it mildly, sheep are not very smart. They wander off easily and will follow one another without paying attention to the consequences. They easily get into trouble and need the help of the shepherd to escape difficult situations. A good shepherd will protect the sheep, seek after a lost sheep, and ensure the sheep have everything they need.

As we looked at ourselves in light of being sheep and Jesus being our shepherd, we talked about the importance of listening to the voice of the shepherd. Sheep know the voice of their shepherd and will follow it. Jesus was willing to lay down His life in order to save humanity, the sheep without a shepherd in need of a Savior. We finished by asking if there were any students who either had never listened to Jesus’ voice or who knew they were wandering off and needed to come back to Him.

I had the opportunity to talk with Mario after club and listened as he shared that he knew he was not walking as closely with Jesus as he should be. He and I were both encouraged as he talked about reading his Bible and trying to live for Christ while also acknowledging his tendency to wander away and not listen to Jesus’ voice.

Through these Campus Life clubs and a recent experience in my role as a youth pastor, I have come to realize the importance of praying for the sheep whom God has placed in my care. As a sheep myself, I understand how easy it is to wander and seek after what looks good to me. For the students in Campus Life, I have been drawn to the realization of how many different voices they hear daily and the importance of helping them to listen to the voice of their Shepherd.

As a Campus Life Director, I have the privilege of working with students, getting to know them and their stories, and seeing how their lives change over the course of the school year. As leaders, we need to better understand the concept of being shepherds working with students who tend to wander and who need someone in their life who is willing to follow after them and keep chasing after them. As we invest in the lives of students, I am reminded that I am a sheep following the Good Shepherd as I seek to be a shepherd over the sheep God has entrusted to me. 

*Student's name changed for confidentiality.

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