What do you do when it’s not football season?
Posted on Friday, March 31, 2017 by
I often get the question, “What do you do when it’s not football season?”
First of all, a great High School football program does not have an “off” season. For example, we have 5 YFC Volunteers that pick up students all around Tacoma and take them to their 5:45 AM workouts four days a week. It is an amazing opportunity to get to know their stories (once we can get them to talk at 5am)! YES, 5AM!!! This is how the players start to understand that our volunteers are FOR these young men. They are committed and dedicated to them because they matter, they are valuable to God. Morning workouts go for 17 weeks, that means 17 weeks of building relationship.
In January and February we start to form small groups with Lincoln students. The students that are in small groups are often teenagers that came to YFC camp and are interested in knowing more about Jesus and desire mentorship and accountability. Right now we have 5 small groups meeting that meet at various times throughout the month. Each one looks different and is catered towards the students in them. I will often make dinner for my girls at my house so we can catch up and check in with one another (teenagers LOVE food!).
These months when I get asked more than I can count “What do you do when it’s not football season?” is NOT downtime, it’s not a break for volunteers. It’s time where we get to see fruit and build trust necessary to share the love of Jesus deeply.
Our Lincoln YFC team talks a lot in terms of “wins.” Without recognizing even the smallest fruit as wins, it’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated. When a student sees you at a basketball game and runs up to you to give you a hug, that is a win. When a kid finally replies to a text when you’ve sent them a dozen with no reply, that is a win. When a kid doesn’t have a ride and calls you, that is a win. These are the small ways that our students, who may not have ever been able to trust anyone before, show us they want to start to trust us. When I look at the way Jesus loved and cared for others I am humbled. He reached out and pursued people because he loved them deeply, and didn’t give up on them. Aren’t we called to do the same? My constant prayer is that our hearts will love what Jesus loves.
So, what goes on at Lincoln when it’s not football season? A LOT! The Holy Spirit guides us through what He is doing at Lincoln. Football is the vehicle that God has blessed us with to build relationships and care for teenagers at Lincoln High School. We are continually blown aways with how God has opened doors for our YFC Lincoln team to love and care for our teens. Our volunteers are incredibly dedicated to Lincoln, the coaches and the players. They are a huge blessing!