Every week this year we are exploring the theme of “The People.” Today we jump in with…..

The People who show up


Carol Harston has served as Minister to Youth at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2007. Born and raised at Highland, Carol has found the joy of caring for youth in the same community that shaped her as a young person. Outside of youth ministry, Carol has her hands full as a mom to James (4 years old) and Collier (21 months old) and wife to Drew (orthopedic surgery resident and faithful youth volunteer).

He never was that talkative.  When I led devotions in meetings, he tended to cringe.  He was the first to make a snarky joke and to internally roll his eyes when I asked even the adults to participate in the silly game.  However, he is in the running for best youth leader Highland has had.
When he reads this, he’s going to deny it.  He’ll email me back something like, “Guess that shows Highland’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel.”  But he’ll know somewhere inside that it’s true.
He is one of the best because he is one the people who shows up.
This is not to discount his skills when he’s present.  But anyone can have skills.  He gave sacrificially to our youth by giving one of the most precious resources hoarded by most – time.  In a culture where every minute is counted, measured, and assessed, he gave Highland’s youth his time even on the days when the youth wasted the minutes with silly jokes and countless distractions.
Highland is richly blessed with many like him who are the people who show up.  They are the ones who show up on Sundays to lead Bible study, even when the crowd moans and groans at their instruction.  They are the ones that show up on Wednesdays to endure the joys and challenges of what is leftover from the school day.  They are the ones who show up at Mentor Groups to navigate the tricky waters of teenage group dynamics and adolescent muddy murky feelings.
Youth ministry depends on the people that show up.
They are the ones that give us the glimpse of one of God’s greatest gifts – faithful presence no matter the change in season or the mess at hand.  God is the one who shows up on the best days, the dark days, and the in between.
Thanks be to God for the God that shows up.
Thanks be to God for the people that show up.
Thanks be to God for the church that allows youth to witness the lives of the faithful, giving their minutes and moments for the glory of the Faithful One.