Volunteer Spotlight – Kaylee Hunt
Kaylee Hunt, one of our student ministry leaders, paints a picture of what it’s like to serve in Student Ministry week to week. She shares some of her experience, motivation, and why she believes it’s worth it to be invested in the lives of young people.
How long have you been serving in Student Ministry?
What made you want to serve in Student Ministry?
In high school I knew I wanted to be a youth leader. I had a positive youth group experience myself and wanted to be apart of others learning about God and being in fellowship with their peers too.
What has been a highlight from serving in Student Ministry?
The biggest highlight for me so far was when our group started having real conversations with another. One night I told them that no one could raise their hands anymore. We were there to mutually encourage, empathize and help one another be more like Jesus. This took almost a year and a half with the same group of girls. But it happened—they stopped trying to come up with something to say while others were talking and they started listening to one another. This brought our group closer together. They started asking their own questions and sharing more deeply about their lives and what they believe.
What does a typical Wednesday Night look like for you?
Youth group starts for me on Monday afternoon when we get our Leader Letter email. The letter highlights any announcements and the scripture we will be talking about Wednesday. I review this, spend time in prayer for my girls and the speaker and answer the question prompts we’re given to get an idea of how Wednesday will go. I generally send the scripture/questions to our group text message so they can be thinking about it too.
On Wednesday I leave work and go right to youth group. First, we eat pizza, hangout, talk about the highs and lows of the week. After eating my girls may go hang out with their friends so I will meet a new student or reconnect with another leader. This usually lasts about 45 minutes to an hour. Second, we have a youth leader huddle where we talk about announcements, what we’re going to talk about for the evening and pray together. After this we go to large group. The junior high is in one room and high school is in another. Sometimes we play a game but generally we get right into the message of the night. I sit around a table with my girls so we can discuss the group questions the speaker might have for us. After large group time we have small group where we unpack the message a little more and pray together. We are given question prompts for the group to help us get started. This time usually lasts about 30-45 minutes. By 8 PM we wrap up for the week and we hangout downstairs until parents come and pick them up.
The remainder of the week I might send out the prayer requests from Wednesday or encourage the students to be in community with one another through our group text.
What is something you would say to someone considering serving in Student Ministry?
First, just show up. Not every week of doing youth ministry is glamorous. Sometimes no one is focused on talking about the message and it feels like we get nowhere. But being there for the students week in and week out, showing genuine interest in what is going on in their lives and praying consistently for them is worth it. It might not feel like you’re making a lasting impact but they remember you care. I’ve been surprised by students who come to me during a difficult situation for advice and I’ve been able to lead them back to the Bible or something we’ve talked about on Wednesday night. God is patient, kind and faithful in pursuing me and I try to keep that in mind.
Second, have fun and be prepared to learn. Since being a youth leader I’ve grown in my relationship with Jesus. I’ve learned from a 13 year old perspective and been challenged by their enthusiasm for following God in their schools, sports teams, and friends groups.
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