As I step into this new role as the Student Ministry Small Group Associate, I would like to share a bit of my heart with you for this aspect of ministry. I am certain that I am in this role today because of the role of two small group leaders I had in middle school and high school. Nick and Brad were both small group leaders that invested time and prayers into my life. They had an impact on my life because they went beyond just being present when I was at church events. They took an interest in the things I had going on at school. When my grandmother died, one of them was at her funeral. If I did not show up at church for a couple of weeks, I would receive a call or text. A small group leader's role is to let teens know that they are loved and part of a real community that goes beyond a Sunday afternoon. I still talk to Nick and Brad to this day. These two men have been a constant reminder of Christ’s love in my life. I was not a Christian until the summer after my 8th-grade year. On Sunday mornings, I would learn about faith and the Bible. It was on the other days when a small group leader reached out to me that I learned about Christ's body.