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Discipleship, Leadership, Moments that Matter

Moments that Matter

A Note from Lifeway Girls: Today features another story in our Moments that Matter series. We hope you are enjoying this series as much as we are! In fact, we’d love to hear your stories about defining and life-changing moments in your ministry, in your small group, or in your family. You can share in the comments below or email us at

In leadership, there are often times in which we begin to rest in the repetition of our routine. We stay so focused on what has to be done and may not recognize the opportunities that are right in front of us. It happens. This does not mean you are an awful leader, but at some point we remember why we are serving and pouring into students. For me, this moment occurred about three months ago, but in reality this moment was perfectly planned by our Creator.

A year ago, I was encouraged to be a Character Coach for one of our local Middle Schools. I had served in this role before but normally with basketball teams and cheer squads. When I found out that I would be leading for a middle school girls soccer team, I was nervous and felt completely out of my comfort zone. I remember the first time I went to practice and I had a character-building lesson prepared, but I had no clue what I was walking into. I stood in front of a group of girls who had insecurities, struggled with self worth, but each and every one of them had big dreams. I listened as they shared or yelled out their problems and frustrations in life.

Week after week, I would arrive and what was once awkward turned into hugs and screams in the hallway, laughs during free period, but also included discussing hard topics and challenging these girls to be true leaders. Little did these girls realize that this had become my favorite part of the week. After the season was over, I was still given the opportunity to come and talk with my team before school or during random breaks.

Then, on a Wednesday afternoon at the end of the school year, I received a message saying that three of my soccer girls were coming to church that night. I screamed from excitement in anticipation for their visit. The best part of this story is that about a month ago, one of these girls accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I will never forget her running up and telling me about the decision that she made and how she is now living for Jesus. As we celebrated together, I held on to the fact that ultimately Jesus allowed me to experience this moment. This was a moment that resulted in eternal life change. This moment mattered.

Psalm 27:13-14 says, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

My encouragement to any leader that is walking through a season of challenge and difficulty is to remember these two things:

  1. Your unknowns have purpose.

  2. God is always at work in your life.

So take heart and wait for the Lord, for the moments He has for you truly do matter. 

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.


Kelly McKinley serves as the Middle School Girls Minister at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee. She loves iced lattes and is constantly in the mood for a random road trip. Her heartbeat for the gospel has lead her to ministry opportunities from Haiti to Memphis and many places in between, focusing mostly on reaching young women in the Nashville area. Her past is one that has been scattered with grief, loss, anxiety, and depression but has been captivated by our need for Jesus in a world where these ailments run rampant. Only by the grace of God is she now able to encourage individuals to be confident in knowing that life is truly worth living. Her heart’s desire is to point others to Christ while they are grieving in grace.

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