Yesterday was just an awesome day with Youth Sunday. We have the best group of kids, and I am so proud of our seniors for hanging in there with us this year. Our main leader is just so awesome. (I know I'm using that word a lot...but can't think of a better one!) And the kids just love her so much. The Holy Spirit pulled it all together - the theme, the scriptures, the skits, the music, the solo, the hymns, the participation. We just sat back in wonder!
A few of the wonders that came to me yesterday as I watched the kids:
1) Never stop planting seeds in all kinds of ways. You never know when a seed will take in a youth...or which seed. Maybe it's just a word in a prayer, a verse of scripture, a video, a smile, letting them be them instead of holding the reigns too tightly, fellowship between services, giving them ownership. As adults, we want them to get it all...but it's OK if they just come away with one seed. God will do the rest.
2) I love to watch them grow. When they come into the youth group as 6th graders, they get on every last nerve of the older youth. But as they continue to participate and grow together with the whole group, pretty soon you see those same 6th graders taking responsibility as high schoolers. Maybe the same one who would have acted up during Youth Sunday is now the one reigning in the new 6th grader who just cannot help him/herself. Watching them grow and mature is oh so fulfilling and brings tears to my eyes.
3) Let them have fun with it. It's OK if they make a mistake...move on...it doesn't have to be perfect. It just needs to be THEM. They have a love for God that may look and sound different from our generation. That doesn't lessen it or make it wrong. In fact, I think God smiles down on our differences and how we incorporate Him into our lives in our own ways. Like David, we don't need an armor from a Saul, we just need our own slingshot and stones.
4) Be flexible. If someone wants to do something...let him/her. If it makes someone else uncomfortable, let them be just part of the group. If someone wants to change up the script, go with it. If someone comes in at the last minute, include them. If you cry, let the tears flow. Because time goes by too fast.
I love our youth...they are our future. And may I say, our future is bright! Grab your sunglasses and go with the flow!