Jr. High -

The lesson I learned from an eighth grader —

By Mallory Jenkins

No adult leader likes to be interrupted by a student’s phone going off, but when it happened every day at 8:30 p.m. during a MIX week in Tennessee this year, it turned into one of the best stories from the summer.

"If I’m going to be a Kingdom worker, I want to be a Kingdom worker like that kid. "

According to the adult leader of the student in question, Alden Wakefield, his phone was a minor annoyance at first. But by the third day, the leader got onto him – “What’s this about? Silence your phone.”

 

Alden said: “That’s my alarm to pray for someone.”

 

Alden had come to MIX two years prior and was challenged to set an alarm to pray for someone who was a foe, a bully or who needed to hear about Jesus. In 2016, MIX challenged middle school students to pray every day for a person who needed Jesus because we all need to have kindness toward them. We used the phrase, “Someone who needs to hear the rhythm of God.”

 

For two years, this student had been praying every night. “It’s hard at first but then it becomes easier,” Alden told his small group. “And when that kid moved away, I just picked another.”

 

He never stopped. He has prayed for many different students over the past two years – that they would hear the rhythm of God and hear the call to be Christ-followers.

 

That night we used his story during the main session in the moment where we call all the students in the audience to be Kingdom workers. In that moment I admitted that I, too, had set my alarm two years ago to pray for someone every day. And then I had to admit that it had only lasted four months.

 

If I’m going to be a Kingdom worker, I want to be a Kingdom worker like that kid. We challenged him two years ago, and he followed through – not because of us, but because of God. Only God can hold that. It's really humbling when an eighth grader can remember to pray and you can’t in your 20s. It’s also very beautiful.

 

I was the one to give him that challenge and I couldn’t even uphold it. This kid is the Kingdom worker I want to be.

 

Mallory Jenkins is a MIX program coordinator for Christ In Youth. Read her story of when she heard Christ’s call on her life here.