by Barry Ruiter, Youth Unlimited Account/Business Manager

The following is an excerpt from our Winter 2016 Magazine. To view the whole magazine, click here.

I admit to often watching television shows that feature buyers looking for a fixer upper home to renovate, programs that chop, cut and rebuild cars, or even the show where a specialty builder constructs treehouses for clients. I generally like shows that renovate and restore. In watching these types of shows, I’m reminded of my role and yours in the Kingdom, and specifically how it relates to Youth Unlimited.

For Youth Unlimited, I have a very much “behind the scenes” role. I pay bills, make deposits and generally put the dot on the “i” and the cross on the “t”. I am quite removed from the ministry work that happens when Youth Unlimited holds or arranges their events and yet, I am an important cog, as are you, in the Kingdom work that flows from this building.

Let me take you back to the TV theme to explore that thought. On a show called The Guild, cars are routinely rescued from slow erosion at the hands of rust and moth. In a twist, a recent episode revolved around an antique toy car, about the size of a shoebox. Besides the intrigue of assigning this “miniature” work to mechanics used to working on full size cars, there was the challenge of finding or creating parts. One such part was a small brass internal gear that was stripped and unusable. The mechanic scratched his head several times and remarked that he wasn’t a “watchmaker”, but in the end, he hand filed a brass rod down into a working gear. The payoff came when the owner of the car received a restored car that looked good and was functioning exactly as it intended.

I help Youth Unlimited function as intended by virtue of being a little, but important, internal gear. If you are reading this, then you should also know that you play some role in helping the functionality as well. Imagine if the miniature car were presented to the owner, but was missing one wheel. What if it was repainted, but the rear window had a big crack or was missing.

As I think of how I support the work of a Serve project, I think too of how it requires teens willing to put hand to shovel. I think of how it requires volunteers and host churches and I think of how it requires finances. There are many cogs, parts and pieces that make up a functional ministry, one that lives up to the owner’s specs. The staff at Youth Unlimited, you and I are a “Guild” of a different sort. We are craftsman charged with completing the King’s ultimate restoration project. I’m praying that we function exactly as intended.

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