One of my favorite things to do is to challenge people. In working with teenagers, I love taking them out of their place of comfort to the place of unComfort. Sometimes it’s taking them to a dump in Mazatlan, to serve the people working and living there; sometimes it’s rock-climbing to they can experience what it’s like to trust what they can not see.
Last spring, in preparation for our Servant Leadership trip we did a couple of team-building days as a group. Classic stuff like: getting your whole team to rope swing onto a small platform together without anyone falling off; another found us balancing everyone on a massive teeter-totter thingy, later we had the whole team stand on a balance beam and sort each other by birthday without talking.
There were plenty of times where there was awkward closeness. Times where we were uncomfortable, but in the place of unComfort, trust was built between us. Our group took a giant step forward both with each other and in their individual relationship with the Lord.
People tend to experience God in a different way when they choose to travel beyond their comfort zone into situations outside of their control. It puts what it means to trust God in a whole new light. Like Isaiah 50:10b (NIV) says:
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on their God.
It’s one of the great privileges of being a youth worker. We get to strategically place students where they can experience God in a new way, in the place of unComfort. Don’t settle in as a youth worker—get uncomfortable.