It’s well-known in my circle that I don’t like dessert. Therefore, anytime we throw a party or get-together, I warn people there won’t be any treats unless they bring them. One particular student decided to provide the dessert for a youth gathering and had her mom text me early in the day to make sure people knew that she would be making a delicious treat for everyone.
So I let people know that dessert was covered. She spent all afternoon working on this concoction that she titled Unicorn Poop Cheesecake. I didn’t ask too many questions.
An Interesting Treat
The way this dessert looked resembled a rainbow if it had been melted (I’m not sure if rainbows can do that). Needless to say, it didn’t look appetizing one bit.
Everyone sat around the table staring and it was pretty apparent that people didn’t really want to try it. I spoke up, “Let’s cut it!” I ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife and spatula.
The student who made it was the first to grab it and try it. You could tell how proud she was of what she had made. Everyone else, not so much.
I knew how much it would mean to her if I simply took a bite so I grabbed a plate and a fork and dug in.
My first bite of Unicorn Poop Cheesecake was…nothing like I expected! It was good! Like…really good! Like…really, really good!
I found myself grabbing multiple bites. The look of it had started to fade in my eyes and I was actually tasting how delicious it was. Around the table, other people were having the same experience. We all had clearly judged this dessert unfairly.
Before you knew it, the entire pan of Unicorn Poop Cheesecake was gone.
As leaders of students, we need to acknowledge that they often feel like outsiders, judged on their appearance. Maybe they feel judged on their clothing or image style, their haircut, or maybe even just feel judged based on their age. There’s a reason students feel like the world is hard. It’s because it is! And it doesn’t treat them with love and respect all the time.
We have a responsibility to them. We must be their biggest champions in this world that seems to be rooting against them. We need to go to them first and demonstrate to the others in our community that what is on the outside isn’t what’s going on inside of them.
Every single student you have in your ministry is insanely talented. There’s so much beauty and depth within each of them. Sometimes, it may not be evident on the surface. Sometimes they keep it hidden because they’re afraid. They’re worried about what people will think or say.
Our role for students is to help them understand that they belong. They belong at the table with us, sharing what they’ve got to share whether that’s a beautiful sheet cake with homemade frosting and carefully crafted decorations on top or…Unicorn Poop Cheesecake.
[bctt tweet=”Our role for students is to help them understand that they belong.” username=”ys_scoop”]
God simply wants us to give the gift of us to the world, and we have the incredible opportunity every day to help students discover the beauty and uniqueness of how God crafted them!
RYAN SCHMALL is the Student Ministries Pastor at Redding First Church of the Nazarene in Northern California. He is married to his wife Jeanette, and together they have three amazing girls. Ryan is passionate about creating experiences and environments for people to encounter God in new and unique ways. You can follow him on TWITTER or read his blog over at IAMRYANSCHMALL.TUMBLR.COM.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.