Why are you here?

Picture Credit: vimeo.com

Whether you have been leading Young Life for 25 years or 25 days, I am guessing you have set foot on the campus of a local high school.

I would also bet that you have gone to a sporting event and done what 99% of adults would never ever ever ever (Taylor Swift anyone?) do: hangout with students in the student section (gasp!)

Let’s be honest, being in the student section is awkward. I don’t care how funny, outgoing, or confident you are, it’s uncomfortable when a teenager gives you the why-are-you-here stare.

It seems students have a enhanced ability to recognize who doesn’t belong in the student section and they are not shy about letting people know.

In four years of leading I have had countless confused students ask me directly, “Why are you here?” 

I am luckier than most leaders because some people still mistake me for a high school student. However, the awkwardness begins when the students slowly realize I am 23 and not a high school student. We all experience this out-of-place-ness because whether we are 19 with a baby face or 45 with a man-beard, we will always be out of place standing in the student section. No one can escape all the puzzled gazes asking, “Why are you here?”

Whether it comes from students, teachers, coaches, parents, or administration, it seems Young Life leaders can’t escape this question.

“Why are you here?”

“Why are you here?”

“Why are you here?”

Maybe that’s a good thing!

If everyone else is asking this question maybe we should too!

Why are we here?

  • To be seen?
  • To meet students?
  • To talk with a specific student?

What’s the goal?

  • Call 10 kids by name?
  • Meet 3 new students?
  • Celebrate and encourage students with excessively dramatic High-5s?

What (or who) is motivating you to show up?

  • A student in a rough situation?
  • Campaigner kids?
  • Showing off a new pair of Chacos?

Ask yourself these questions and ask them often!

I can’t give you a cookie cutter response to the question “Why are you here,” because I don’t have one. After four years I still don’t think I explain Young Life very well, especially when I am explaining it to a 15-year-old at a football game.

Here is what I do know….

You’re there because you care.

You’re there because it’s worth it. 

You’re there because you’re called.

You’re there because you are living out a story MUCH bigger than your own.

Before every football game, every club, every coffee date, every campaigners meeting (#ManTime), every time you set foot on your school’s campus, ask yourself…                    Why are you here?

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One thought on “Why are you here?

  1. Pingback: Comfortable with uncomfortable. | As We Go

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