I’ve never been on SERVE, yet I work at Youth Unlimited. Sometimes that seems weird, and sometimes it makes complete sense.

When I was in college, near the end of my freshman year, I had an intriguing epiphany. After a year with a “just okay” Resident Assistant, I knew I could be a Resident Assistant with greater intentionality, and maybe have a greater impact on my fellow students in that position than my RA had on us. In that moment, I realized when people choose to follow in someone’s footsteps, to pursue a passion that may not have always been their own, it’s usually either because the person who set out before them did a horrible job or they did such a great job that people just have to be a part of what they’re doing.

Though I became a Resident Assistant in light of a situation where I wanted to do a better job for people, I had the opposite situation when I became a high school coach.

In high school, I had a coach who invested in the girls on her team like we were important, worthy and precious. A true practitioner of exhortation, she pushed us, she encouraged us to be more than we were, she journeyed with us and she taught us valuable lessons we could one day take with us as our lives moved on. In hindsight, I saw the great impact my coach had on my life, and when given the opportunity to take over for her as a coach myself one day, I gratefully took the position with hopes that I could one day journey with even one high school girl the way she journeyed with me and my teammates.

So why do I work for Youth Unlimited when I’ve never experienced SERVE? I’m here because I’ve vicariously experienced SERVE in the stories I’ve heard. I’ve seen the impact. I’ve read the quotes. While my faith-forming experiences as a teen didn’t involve jumping in the youth group van and heading across the country to serve another community, I know from my vicarious experience at Youth Unlimited that God does amazing things at SERVE. I know that lives are forever changed for Christ at SERVE. And I know that I just have to be a part of what’s happening here.