I run a café for our church’s youth group. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ve never really written much about it. I love it, and I put in a number of hours each week with it. It is my favorite job. They pay me in coffee. (Which I quit drinking in January!) This is my home away from home, so to speak.
It is interesting what the Lord will bring you into when you aren’t looking for anything. I started working in the café when our 19 year old was 12. I did it so that I could be present in the youth group without making her feel like I was following her around.
That’s one thing I have learned down there, and always tell parents of incoming 6th graders who have concerns:
If you get yourself plugged in and have “a job” in the youth group, pretty soon your kids don’t notice you any more. You become part of the background, and they will quit worrying about what you’re watching them do, or where you are. And you can keep an eye on your kids. 🙂
To be able to keep myself busy while hanging out with students, I learned how to make coffee on the super duper awesome espresso machine. I know the difference between an Americano and a Latte, a Mocha and a Breve, a Steamer and a Cappucino. I make hot chocolate, Chai tea, Italian sodas, and Jet Tea smoothies. I can steam milk and blend frappes with the best of them.
I make change and ice packs (you never know when someone will come looking for an ice pack!), hand out band-aids, water bottles for worship leaders & speakers, and laugh at myself and students. Okay, maybe I get laughed at by students. Italian soda volcanoes are always good for a laugh!
If you think this looks fun, you should see it with a dome lid with whipped cream shooting out the top! The students on my café crew make as many goofs and I do. We have fun. Like I said, laughs go both ways!
What I wanted to do was to keep an eye on my rapidly developing seventh grader. What God did was stretch me into a ministry role that I never expected and didn’t want, and put me in a position of influence with some really amazing kids. I went from just helping out, to being the manager. I also went from just being there, to being there for kids who needed someone. And that is what I’m all about now. I love the connections, and watching them grow and change in the Lord.
It’s my unpaid job, but I would do it full time if I could. (Paid, of course.) But I love it anyway. Sometimes God brings us into a position for no other reason than to have us positioned for him to use. My motives were purely selfish, really, but God’s motives were so much bigger that I could ever see. I’m so glad that He did it.