I was once again reminded of the importance of relationships in ministry. I went as a sponsor on Brad’s Kings Island trip with the middle school and high school students. It is such a great opportunity to build relationships with students.
Spending an entire day with a small group walking around an amusement park, standing in line, and eating together really provides a lot of opportunities for different conversations. As silly, or as meaningful as those conversations may be, they all build on the existing relationship and help you relate with the person on a deeper level.
As we walked through the park, I came across six former students of mine (that I worked with at Christ’s Church at Mason in Mason, Ohio). They were all employees at the park. As I talked with each of those students, memories flooded back of time I spent with each of them when they were entering 7th or 8th grade. You see, living in Mason, all the kids had passes to Kings Island. Each year, the church would buy me a pass so that I could go and hang out with kids one day a week. Many of what are now meaningful relationships with young adults, started out as time spent together riding roller coasters, standing in line, being silly, talking about hopes and dreams, and eating together when those young adults were just middle school students.
I think the lesson I learned from this trip was that time spent with a person is one of the greatest gifts that you can give them. I also think that time with someone is one of the greatest gifts you can receive. Are you giving enough time to build meaningful relationships? With your family? With your church family? With people who don’t know Jesus? This Kings Island trip certainly made me think about those questions!