Brenda Stoneking's Service to Our Youth

My wife, Brenda, will probably kill me when she reads this. Brenda has always LEE_4700 Stoneking.JPGhated being the limelight. That's understandable because she has a very humble spirit. But don't think for a minute that because she's humble she isn't also determined and hardworking. She is all of those things and more--and those are the strengths she brought to the job of youth director at First Baptist Church of Wheeling.

On Sunday, June 30, Brenda officially retired after six years as youth director. We have always worked together in ministry and, of course, this was no exception. I would jokingly tell people that I was the full-time, unpaid volunteer, but we both felt called to give our time and our best efforts for the youth of our church.

Brenda Photo 2.jpgIt's hard to capture six years in the space of a blog, but I see three areas where Brenda made immeasurable contributions in the lives of our youth: through leadership, compassion and faith.

Leadership. Brenda wanted our youth to develop good, solid leadership skills. She made it a point to teach them life skills that would help them become leaders in their home, their community, and their church.

Compassion. Brenda also had an emphasis on missions and outreach. In the Wheeling area, our youth regularly participated in food drives and volunteered at the soup kitchen. We also sponsored a child through Compassion International. Every year at mission camp we hosted a vacation bible school in a low income neighborhood. Helping and caring became a part of our youth group's DNA.

Faith. Brenda's goal, and mine, has always been to see our youth develop a faith of their own that's strong and thriving. Through our Bible studies, small groups and many, many activities together, I know that she succeeded.

In March of this year, Brenda and I became grandparents for the first time. ThisBrenda Photo 1.jpg will be the next chapter in Brenda's life--babysitting our granddaughter, Melody, and building good, godly things into her life. I am proud of my wife's accomplishments. I don't say it enough, I know. I am proud to have been a part of our youth group and to have ministered alongside my wife. And, like her, I'm looking forward to all that grandparenting has in store for us in the future!

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