It’s easy to feel invisible as a teenager, especially when you don’t fit into one of the “boxes.”
Virginia Ward started her Orange Conference 2019 main session talk by explaining how, as a kid, she didn’t belong at home, but she belonged at church. And she was seen by a leader there. She was invited in and was shown she had a voice that mattered. Growing up in Boston, she saw a lot of racial tension. She was even one of the only African Americans in her school. Backing herself into her corner, Virginia felt like she could be who she wanted to be in church, but she never felt like that anywhere else.
Looking back, she was convinced those leaders made a difference because they made it personal:
- They honored her personal worth.
- They respected her personal voice.
- They invested in her personal dreams.
In order to make it personal, we need to take our cues from Jesus:
- Jesus became human to prove that God loves humans.
- Jesus became human to show humans how to love God.
- Jesus became human to show humans how to love humans.
Virginia wrapped up by challenging us one final time: We need to take a personal investment in the teenagers around us.
Photo credit: Provided by ©Taylor Zorzi / Zorzi Creative and The Orange Conference