In three days we are taking our students on our annual purity retreat called Stainless. This is easily the biggest thing we do all year with regard to preparation. Over the years I have been in charge of many trips, retreats, camps and mission trips. Even with all this experience I can still predict that I will get a big dose of nerves a couple of days before we leave.

I start to roll through all the questions in my brain. Did I plan enough? Did we confirm the busses? Have I communicated enough with parents? As I’ve been thinking and praying through my nerves I can tell that they reveal a few things about me.

My nervousness helps me prepare better. As I roll through my mental checklist I become aware of things that I have missed or need to revisit. I think my nerves are a way for my body to make sure the weekend runs more smoothly.

My nerves reveal that I don’t feel like I have arrived. Even after a decade of student ministry I don’t feel like I’m coasting. Deep inside I know that the moment I stop caring about the details, I will start drifting from my love for student ministry.

My nerves reveal that I really want middle schoolers to experience the love of Christ. At the heart of all this, I really care if students have a good time and make a connection with Jesus and others. I know that it’s not up to me to save them, but I want to do whatever I can do to put our students in the mindset to really consider who Jesus is and what he wants for them.

So, if you’re reading this, please pray for our students this weekend. And pray for our leaders.