Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Finding Voice

I was a freshman in high school.  It was Sunday evening and we were gathered upstairs in the youth room at church.  There was a  handful of us up there seated at various adopted couches.  It was a typical night with lots of chattering and munching as we caught up with each other and passed the snacks around.

Finally our volunteer youth leaders settled us down and gathered us together.  They explained to us that we had a task for the evening that needed to be completed before we left that night.  Our task?  Plan a Youth Sunday worship service.

As an introverted child, I never felt like I had much of a voice.  Or at least not very loud or noticeable.  So, here, I was a short, shy, skinny freshman participating in my first experience in  youth group planning a Youth Sunday.  So, I did the only thing I knew how to do, I quietly sat at the end of the table and said nothing.  I waited for the conversation to come to a close, anticipating volunteering for something simple like collecting the offering.

My fellow youth groupers were naming hymns and prayer ideas over top of each other.  Others were volunteering to be greeters or ushers.  The youth leaders were busying writing all of it down, trying desperately to keep up with the flow of ideas.  I thought I was in the clear.  So far, so good.

Then we came to the sermon.  Who was going to deliver the sermon?

One of the seniors spoke up and said, “Jason would be good at it.”

I was absolutely scared to death.  I’m sure my face went through a few stages of red.  The youth group discussed it quite passionately and all agreed I should do it.   They started to give me ideas, convincing me it would be awesome.  I reluctantly agreed.  My youth leaders helped me through the process.  And when Youth Sunday came along, I did it.


  1. And what happened? You left me hanging dude…

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