Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Honor of Longevity... in a volunteer...

This morning was both a lot of fun and a good deal painful. For those of you who are familiar with FVCC, this face will be familiar to you if you have anything to do with students. It's Jeff O'Neal... who has been a fixture in FVCC's Student Ministry... mostly middle school ministry... for close to 10 years.

For those of you who aren't familiar with our student ministry, this is the picture of longevity as a volunteer in youth ministry.

It was painful because Jeff and his family are moving back to Oklahoma for his career (which is totally understandable). But he's going to leave a large gap in our student ministry volunteer team.

But its also a great deal of exciting to think about the longevity of Jeff as a volunteer in FVCC's student ministry. He's endured through the tough times and worked with at least 3 youth ministers... if not a fourth (and if the fourth, then that was a very challenging time in the life of this student ministry and FVCC).

But it's also been some great times as well. This morning I stood back and watched Jeff do what Jeff does best... got a full table of 7 to 8 middle school guys deeply involved in a game of Uno and then "Catch Phrase." He's a magnet for middle school guys.

We tried to find pictures this morning of Jeff "in action" with the students. But over the 3 1/2 years that I've been at FVCC and in the digital archives on a couple of other computers, only 8 pictures were found. That wasn't because Jeff wasn't there. That was because Jeff wasn't posing for pictures. He was meeting students and getting to know them. Hooking them up with other students from their school that they might know. He was having conversations with students at his table. Or in many cases, he was the one taking the pictures of the students (like THESE from Messfest). Jeff often was the one jumping in and working to pull off the program. And that's what I appreciated about Jeff.

So while, we're going to lose a great volunteer. I'm also going to lose a great friend. But this post isn't about that.

It's about how one volunteer got connected with a ministry, made it his own and then stuck with it over the long haul. Here's to longevity in a ministry as a volunteer!!!

Thanks Jeff (because I know you'll read this). We appreciate all that you've done.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words, although I really should have had the opportunity to retake the picture of you and me with my big cheesy smile... I'm really going to miss the FVCC student ministry, but no one is "losing" a friend -- just moving a little further away.