Kris has over 35+ years of experience in youth ministry. Her ministry experience includes serving as the Youth Minister at Collierville UMC in Tennessee. Kris has experience serving in youth ministry at the local, conference, jurisdictional and national level of the United Methodist Church. Kris oversees the Southeast coaching and graduate residents and lend support during the Southeast intensives.
Throughout my ministry with young people I was grateful for the opportunity to serve. I was grateful for those who volunteered and worked alongside me and grateful for the young people and their families that allowed me to serve them.
There are several scripture verses that have guided me through over thirty years of youth ministry. Through prayer and scripture I was able to handle those rough patches in ministry. Those times when I fell short of showing gratitude to those around me and to those I was serving. We do ourselves and others a disservice if we do not lean into gratitude. One of the scriptures that guided me was Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
We need to let Christ be reflected in our lives, but we can not do that if we do not let Christ rule our hearts first. Through prayer and scripture we grow in our love and understanding of gratitude. The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness or gratefulness. Being grateful helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals; it allows us to be called to be one body in community with others.
I believe gratitude needs to be at the heart of ministry with young people.
It is the relationships between young people, staff, volunteers and families
that shapes our understanding of the world around us. Those individuals who pour into the lives of young people shape and mold young people into grace filled and Christ following individuals. I pray we fill our students’ lives with gratitude, so they in turn can share that gratitude with others.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jeus, giving
Thanks to God the Father through him.