Education as Ministry

Education needs reformation and renewal. The education system needs the gospel. Education needs godly men and women pursuing and embracing education as ministry. How else will the church affect change in this massively-important sphere of society? How else will we Christians bring about gospel change and transformation, if we do not personally get involved?

These are some of the questions I have been thinking about lately. I feel like I am about to have another significant turning point in my life, in regards to what I am going to do after I graduate Eternity Bible College (EBC). Lately, I have been contemplating the idea of becoming an educator of some sort, for the glory of God and the good of others.

I am a learner and I love the educational environment. I want to make a difference in the next generation of thinkers and influencers and culture makers, and what better way than to get involve in education and play a positive role in the formational and developmental process of students.

As of this school year, I have been working as an instructional aid, helping, primarily students of ELD/ESL programs. I am thanking God for the opportunities I have had thus far to interact with some of the teachers at my work.

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk to one of the teachers about my faith. I shared the story of God, emphasizing the goodness of creation, the devastating reality and effect of sin, and the encouraging promise of the restoration of all things.

Now a days, I find myself talking more about the story of God when I share my faith. I blame EBC in general, but Worldview class in particular. I have been (positively) ruined with a new framework by which to see and interpret life and ministry. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

A New Journey

Over the last couple of weeks, I have witness God at work—touching hearts, doing great things in the lives of others, and answering prayers—all to accomplish His will in the local church. The most amazing, and shocking thing in the world is that God uses ordinary people like you and me to carry out His purposes. What an expression of His grace!

Now let me tell you about something that I will have the undeserved privilege to be part of. Soon, I will begin a new journey in my life—entrance into youth ministry. But before I go on to describe how I feel about it (hint: excited), let me briefly share how all of this came about.

I am currently attending Eternity Bible College. This school does a very good job in making sure students get involved in the local church. One of the ways the school encourages ministry involvement is by giving its students monthly updates on current openings, positions and opportunities available in our area.

This is how I first heard that there was a need for a Middle School Coordinator at The Bridge. At first, the thought of working with middle school students was intriguing and appealing; but as time passed, I sort of pushed this opportunity to the side and left it unattended. In the next couple of months, God began to work in a remarkable way in my life—giving me a fresh, new passion and desire to disciple the next generation of students.

As a result, God put on my heart to start a small, discipleship-group for high school students. We have only met for about a month now, and I have seen God do amazing things in their lives.

I love sharing God’s Word with young students. My passion is to make a positive impact in their spiritual growth and formation. And so far, I cannot complain—God has been good!

Now back to this new journey in my life—entrance into middle school ministry. After a couple months had passed since I first heard of the opportunity, I became once again interested; so I began to pray and seek the Lord’s will on it.

I remember a night I was working at my current job (Radio Nueva Vida). During one of the Bible programs, I took a brief moment to pray that God may open the door to get involved at The Bridge. I am already serving at Nueva Vida (the Spanish ministry), but something I strongly desired was to be part of The Bridge.

A couple of days later, I received a call from Rob (the current youth pastor) asking me if I wanted to teach on Sunday, July 1st to the middle school students. I remember saying, “Wow, Lord, that sure was quick! Is this the answer to my prayer?” Little did I know that I was being examined on that Sunday as a potential candidate for the job (or at least that’s what I think).

So after various conversations, meetings, and God’s conviction pressed upon my heart, it became clear that the Lord was leading me to be involved in this area of ministry. I thought, “Wow, I don’t deserve this. I am not fit for the job. What if I fail and mess up?” But then, I was reminded of an amazing truth—that all over the Bible, we see how God used ordinary folks to do extraordinary things for the glory of His name (i.e., Moses, Ruth, the twelve disciples, and many others).

If someone were to ask me, “What would be the most exciting thing about working in middle school ministry?” For me, the most exciting thing would be having the opportunity to invest, disciple, and play an active role in making a long-lasting impact in the lives of the students. Of course this will not be an easy task at all, but that will not stop me to dream big and expect great things.

I am praying that God may be glorified in all things—in my teaching, in my relationships with the students, staff, Rob and others, in leadership, and in all other activities and events—may Jesus be the center, foundation, and the one receiving all honor, praise and adoration!

I think the most challenging part for me will be connecting with the students (since I have very little experience with youth) and keeping an eternity-focused youth ministry; in other words, I want to do youth ministry in light of eternity. I want to be intentional and make the best of every opportunity to make a long-lasting impact instead of just focusing on the now (which many have the tendency to do).

All in all, I am very excited to begin this new chapter in my life. My desire is to see a new generation of students that are committed, devoted and passionate for Jesus. Because if it wasn’t for Him, I wouldn’t have the opportunity in the first place; so everything is and always will be all about Jesus!

Any advice, insight, encouragement, and most importantly—prayer (and lots of it), will be more than welcomed and appreciated. Thanks!

For His glory,

Jonnathan Menendez