Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seasons Change

I spoke at ECHO, my youth group, last night.  Here is the interview.

1. What is your name?
Dina D Coverstone

2. How long have you been a youth leader?
Almost 18 years, 3.5 at Vineyard

3. Why did you become youth leader?
I became a youth leader right out of highschool.  I wanted to stay connected to my youth group initially, having given my life to Jesus 8 months before.  I continued to be a youth leader because God has totally placed a calling on my life to minister to teenagers.  

4. What’s your favorite hobby?
Reading and Basketball!!!

5. Are there a couple stories or memories from the last few years that really stands out to you? What are some of the highlights for you?
  • Youth Leader campout - huge highlight
  • Girls’ lock-ins at the church...especially playing sardines and Twister
  • Lots of conversation and time spent 1-1 with kids over the years.  I have always been a people person, really wanting to get to know people.  I think it is precious when a student shares their life with an is pretty cool.
  • Small group 12 hours of Christmas!  We made and decorated cookies, the cats licked some of them, and we took them to Derek’s!
  • Discipleship group this year
  • watching the youth band grow into worship leaders

6. So, what’s in store for the next season of your life? What will you be doing?
I will be returning to the classroom as a 5th grade teacher and COACHING HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL...a whole new realm of “youth ministry”

7. Why will you be doing what you’re doing in the next season? How has God placed a vision in you for what you will be doing next?
Teaching has always been a dream of mine.  Having been out of the classroom the past 2 years was challenging, but also reminded me of the heart the Lord has given me to teach.  My current position as an Instructional Coach was a 2-year commitment.  I am glad to have had the opportunity, but I am thrilled to be going back where I belong!

I am passionate about the game of basketball.  I believe that athletics, particularly for girls, play a vital role in development.  Some of the best times of my life were spent on a basketball court.  The two friends who lead me to Jesus were teammates of mine.  

Youth ministry doesn’t simply happen inside the walls of a church.  God has placed a calling upon my life to minister to and mentor teenagers.  Coaching is an avenue to use something I love to share about unconditional love through Jesus.  I believe that God has opened the door at a very key point in time at WHS for believers to be put in affluent positions: with students, the staff, and our community.  It is an opportunity to live out my faith, be a witness to Jesus, in a very public place.

8.What most excites you about the next season of life?
I will be doing 2 things that I love: teaching and coaching.  I am a firm believer that God calls people into both of these professions.  It is a lot of outpouring, mentoring/coaching/teaching.  But I also believe that God can and will equip me as HE sees fit to bring glory to His name in the classroom and on the basketball court.  I have spent several years growing in my relationship with Jesus, learning who He has made me to be, and overcoming lots of wounds and insecurities.  I have learned so much in the past year about God’s goodness and that he has BIG PLANS.  Time to put all that learning to work!

9. What most scares you about the next season of life?
I am leaving lots of familiar things.  The past few years have been very different with my job and schedule and freedom to come and go.  Teaching and coaching is a HUGE undertaking.  I also am scared that I will lose my focus on Jesus, become disconnected or lazy in my walk.  Each new season of life brings new challenges.  I am a routine person, so I need to find the new routine.  I need to be sure that God is top priority over everything.  I am scared too that I will lose connections to youth kids and leaders that I have come to love.  But I also know that there will be a new crop of 5th graders in my classroom and 25-30 highschool basketball players to develop relationships with and learn to love.

10. Any last words or anything you would like to challenge these young people and leaders with?
2 things to leave you with:
  1. Revelation 3:19-20 (NIV) Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.    God doesn’t allow us to become idle in our lives.  I have had many times when I get comfortable with where I am, to the point that I can take care of me and tend to put God on the backburner.  Thankfully God doesn’t allow me to stay in that place too long before he shakes things up.  I have dreamed of coaching at the highschool level for a long time, but got comfortable that I would simply coach at the elementary and be involved in youth group forever.  God has different plans and he has opened new doors while closing others.  Don’t think that God doesn’t hear the quiet, unspoken desires of your heart.  He really truly knows you better than you know yourself.  Since the realization of going back into the classroom and the fact that I am now a highschool basketball coach, God has lavished so much love upon me.  
  2. John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  Satan wants nothing more than for us to fail.  At the same time that God has been building me up, Satan has blasted me with lots of lies of inadequacy and fears that maybe God picked the wrong person for these positions.  Satan is a thief and a liar who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He tries to take good things and twist them to his advantage, wanting us to give up.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full

  3. Stay connected to Jesus and other believers! John 15:5-8 (NIV) I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. If we do not stay connected to Christ, and other believers we cannot continue to make Christlike decisions.  God’s word is alive and active.  Being connected is life-giving!

My challenge is to remember that God has already won the battle for our lives.  If you give your life to Jesus, accepting the gift of his crucifixion, satan can’t do jack crap to you!  God wants us to believe him for the deepest desires of our hearts, to dream big dreams (the impossible), then trust that he can bring them into fruition in his perfect timing.  Don’t get comfortable in life to the point that you let your guard down and think that you can do anything without God working in your life.  And don’t give satan any credit...he has done NOTHING to warrant any respect from those who trust in the name of Jesus.