Each team member has had a different experience this year, even though we’re all on the same team and serving in the same area. We’ve all had many expectations and have experienced various ways the Lord has worked and has challenged us. I wanted to share some of these many experiences with you. So, I decided to interview my team to see the different ways they’ve grown through this ministry and the different things the Lord has revealed to them.
Like some of my teammates, I came into this year with very little knowledge of what a discipleship team was. However, some had a better idea of what they were getting in to:
- “I knew exactly what it looked like because I had a NET team at my parish sophomore and junior years of high school.”
- “I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew it was going to push me in ways that I wasn’t planning on.”
- “I knew it would be intentional. I knew we would be fostering seeds that have been planted.”
- “I wasn’t quite sure. I knew we’d be doing youth ministry, but didn’t know the specifics.”
As you can see, some of us had a better idea of what a discipleship team would do than others, but the Lord has been able to work in that. The important thing is that we all said yes, because He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. I next asked my team, “After serving on a discipleship team for several months now, is it what you thought it would be?”
- “Way cooler. Didn’t know we would have the freedom and the ability to shape the ministry like we do. Also seeing how much the team and the youth have grown has been awesome.”
- “No not at all. I didn’t know I’d be able to relate to people about faith or be able to connect with the team and youth so well. Also, realizing God’s presence and seeing His love and mercy through this ministry.”
- “I knew the kind of ministry we would be doing, but I didn’t realize what the pace of it would be… that we wouldn’t see very much result. But in that, remembering to continue to trust in the Lord and continue to stay faithful to the ministry.”
- “Yes and no. I knew we would get to know the community well and spend time with the youth. I didn’t realize we would spend so much time with the team and how amazing it would be learning how to love them.”
We didn’t know exactly what to expect but the Lord worked through our trust in Him and has blessed us every day. He’s brought so much beauty out of the ministry we do. There are many ways He’s allowed us to grow, whether through this ministry, through the team, or individually.
- “Something I’ve recognized is how much I used to rely on myself for many things and not the Lord. I’m realizing now how much relying on Him and trusting Him has allowed me to grow in virtue.”
- “I’ve learned how to lean on Him more in prayer. I didn’t have a prayer life before NET. I expected to pray a little coming to NET, but now I’m like, ‘Wow, I need that hour of prayer, I can’t imagine not having it.’ Jesus is a part of our team too.”
- “This year I have received confession more than ever in my life. In a new way, I have been able to recognize my sinfulness but also recognize the beauty in the sacrament and the grace I’ve received.”
- “I didn’t realize how amazing team life and sisterhood would be, but it has been amazing to experience.”
As a team, we’ve been able to share the love and joy of Jesus with this community, and have learned so much in doing so. Whether we knew what a discipleship team was or not, our yes to the Lord brought us here and allowed us to grow in many ways. Whether we were blinded or had a clear view, saying yes to the Lord has allowed us to grow in holiness. It’s allowed us to be more open to God so He can continue to transform our hearts. We are so very thankful for this opportunity to be here in St. Joseph, Michigan serving the Lord and glorifying Him.