One of the most amazing things to happen on team so far is to experience a new community form. On August 24th, when all 20 ’14-’15 teamers gathered together initially, we were a bunch of strangers (with a few random connections mixed in) who were supposed to learn to trust one another and depend on one another for support in the coming year. It was an amazing experience to be in the middle of the formation of those relationships.
Not only did each individual team work on bonding, but friendships from across the teams formed. I have a wonderful team prayer partner, plus alumni prayer partners, who I regularly talk to and pray with and for. But I formed other friendships as well. On September 20, we separated from three-quarters of the Youth Encounter community to be individual teams. As exciting as it is to know that East Lakes can function as its own individual unit, I was shocked by how much I missed the other 15 individuals who had become my family.
Snapchats, phone calls, Facebook, and texting can only be so close to a face-to-face conversation.
But maybe that’s part of team ministry! We are learning to minister to our friends and family from a distance, and we are learning to do it with little cell phone reception and internet access. We are learning to depend on the people God has put in our lives for this season – our team and our hosts.
That doesn’t stop me, however, from being excited for our midwinter training in December when we gather with the whole Youth Encounter community again! I can’t wait to hear the stories all of my friends have to share!