How can it accidentally be the best?
Never having had the meeting at our house before, we really enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere, and the parents enjoyed the veggie pizza!! While the teens were down in the fellowship hall having their first afterglow, the parents were crammed in our house as we were updated on several things.
My youth pastor friend Donny Wilson got a gift from his wife a while back, and… I have to admit I was jealous. Not to be bested, I told my wife I needed the same thing! Shower crayons! If you’ve never seen them, you haven’t lived!
Anyway, the whole purpose of getting shower crayons was because I’m always getting ideas on things I want to do or teach, people I want to write, families that are doing great, activity details, whatever it is… and I HATE to forget them! Now I can capture my thoughts and keep enjoying life! It’s a good invention!
I had one such idea for something else the other day, brought it up to my voice-of-reason wife and she gave me the “Whoa there, killer. Slow down.” But do you as a parent ever feel like me? That there’s just SO much to do and teach! I can’t imagine what it feels like as a parent to release your child into the world after high school, but the day is coming, and I’d love to do anything I can to help with that day. MOST of all, I desire that the Teens of Faith is filled with godly young people who have a heart for loving and serving God, and for loving others.
I’ve been preaching off and on for several months this basic idea: Let your love for God flood your life and affect your love for people. My driving example has been their love for 1) guests, and, more recently, their love for 2) the new 7th graders. While a school setting somewhat lends itself to the age-divisions and pecking orders (sports, different classes, limited contact with various ages, etc.), CHURCH should be something totally different. We are a collection of believers that are fellowshiping together to worship an almighty God, and we’re expected to carry out the Great Commission as we serve Him day by day. No where in that last sentence is there room for bullying, embarrassment, hatred, pecking orders, and the like; however, all too often we’ve seen the older ones try to put the younger ones “in their place” rather than take a mentoring mentality.
What I desire is that the teens treat each other as Christians and try to help each other grow in Christ. No where will you find a more biblical model than that when we assemble as a church, and I don’t care how old or young someone is, I’ll only be right in my judgment of them when I judge them based on biblical principles (i.e. Does he/she serve? Encourage? Love? Is he/she faithful? Humble? etc.) Assimilating into the Teens of Faith can be a little intimating already, but I don’t want to add to the embarrassment by encouraging a hateful spirit toward someone just because they’re younger. I’ve already seen too much “joking” that’s ended in nothing but hurt feelings and anger… how’s that helpful?
One way to show love to others and work to assimilate the new ones in is to encourage everyone to attend our afterglows. One major push we would like to make is to include those who do not normally attend activities or who do not always come on Sunday nights. And when I say “push” I’m meaning this as an outreach and encouragement opportunity for our teens to be involved. For them to just say, “Hey, are you coming to the afterglow tonight? It won’t be that late. You should come. It will be fun” would be plenty. Hopefully our numbers grow each night, but I’d RATHER set an involvement goal rather than a number goal. And here’s the goal: 100% involvement (not attendance.) If every teen every week would ask at least one person if they’re going, AND tell one absentee “we missed you,” that would absolutely be enough. God will bless as we think spiritually.
Two booklets were handed out, each of which will receive its own post soon.
Finally, we went over the April Series of letters that were sent to a number of parents. If you did not receive those, you can view them in the following posts or individually:
Thank you again for letting us work with your teens. As I always tell them: Love God. Love others. Do right.