I co-lead a youth group with my wife. It’s a small group, but we really get to know the kids. It’s much more intimate and personal than some youth groups with 50 or 60 plus kids. I know all my youth by name. I know their parents and what they do. And chances are that I’ve even been to their house to play cards.

It’s nice. It’s a different experience as a youth leader, and I like it. Not that leading a larger youth group was a bad one, but I’m happy with what I’ve got.

But yesterday, I almost had a heart attack.

One of the youth kid’s mothers and I were talking about some books and TV shows that I had lent to her son. She wanted to know if they were appropriate for his age, what happened in the books and TV show, stuff like that. I started to explain and go into detail, how this worked, why that was happening on screen, basically how they weren’t terrible or bad for him in any way. She wasn’t disinterested, but wasn’t worried about all the details. So she looked at me, smiled and said, “I trust you Reg.”

Enter heart attack.

I’ve had people say “I trust you” before; in trust falls, when I’m going to get groceries for my wife and I want to know what brand of cheese she wants, when I’m taking care of a neighbor’s pet and when I’ve been given something personal or valuable that belonged to someone else. But “I trust you”, when talking about someone’s son? That doesn’t normally happen to me. Not that I’m an untrustworthy guy,……

In all truth, it was something I wasn’t expecting to hear and struck my heart as a strange compliment. “I trust you”.

Having someone say that they trust you means a lot when you think about it.

It says in you there are good qualities, things that are likable. There is sound judgment, knowledge and even a wisdom that is beyond your years.

It says I am willing to put the care and growth of something or, more importantly, someone in your capable hands.

It says I don’t have to worry about what you do or say or teach to my child. It will be good and beneficial for him or her, because I can see that inside of you.

“I trust you” says a lot, I just don’t hear it all that often.

But as strange as this compliment was, the realization of intense responsibility hit me even harder. Saying “I trust you” puts a lot of weight on your shoulders.

It says you are responsible for the growth and maturing of my child. The example you set, the ideas you share, the lifestyle you lead will shape and inform my child’s eternity.

It says you have the great power to speak death and life to the good and bad things in my son or daughter’s spirit, and I’m believing you will know when and how to do that.

It says you are going to be a parent figure to someone that is not your son or daughter, but that you will still love and treat them like they were.

I might be reading a bit too much into a passing comment, but in this case someone’s “I trust you” comment has changed how I view my role as a youth pastor. For me, there is suddenly a lot more at stake, and a lot more I need to be preparing for.

Youth leaders, youth pastors, volunteers, whoever you are, when kids walk through your church doors, into your drop in center, your home or go out for coffee with you, understand this; there is a great deal of trust being placed in you.

Don’t let that scare you off. Just as someone trusts you, put your trust in some one.

“I want your trust to be in the LORD God; this is why I’m instructing you…today (Proverbs 22:19 CJB).”


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