About a month ago, I got a text from a teen, a junior at our local high school, thanking me for calling him and wishing him a happy birthday. After 10 years of ministry, it still amazes me how the simple things, like a 30-second phone call, can make a huge impact in a person’s life.
I didn’t always call teens for their birthdays. I mean, I always wanted to and I made great efforts, but I never could figure out a way to actually remember their birthdays. Sure, I would print our calendars, and then not look at them. I would print our lists and never check them off. If I couldn’t remember to look at the bright yellow print out on my bulletin board, how would I remember to call a teen on the most important day of their year?
Today, we have social networking, which makes communication easier, and even reminds you of birthdays. And although this is a convenient way saying happy birthday, I refuse to “post” some generic happy birthday on someone’s wall – nothing can replace a phone call.
A few years ago, I was talked into purchasing a “smart phone” and it has helped to simplify my life. The great thing about these phones is that they have an “app” that costs nothing. It’s called a calendar.
So about a year ago, I began printing a list of our teens and their birthdays. At 3:30 pm on their birthday, I “schedule” them as an appointment and put their number in the notes. The phone turns that number into a link, and all I do is click on it. No more calendars, sticky notes or check lists. I don’t even have to dial a number. I click into the appointment, and each teen (or Core Member) gets a call on their birthday.
It doesn’t take a flashy event to show someone you care. A simple phone call can change the way a teen views you. And by changing their view of you, they just might change their view of the Church and of the God who loves them.
By the way, the teen that texted me had only been to one Life Night before that phone call, and he hasn’t come to one since. But now, he gives me hard time if I miss going to school for lunches. I’m confident he’s going to start coming soon.
Let’s make it a point to do small things because they make a BIG difference.