Over the past several months, an idea has been brewing within the church concerning our youth. While our Kids Bible Hour has been awesomely successful each Sunday, there’s still something missing for our kids who aren’t really kids anymore, nor old enough to fully understand what the adults talk about in their own time of biblical discussion. What we have is a group of pre-teens who are looking to know more about God and are ready to move past the cute kiddy songs and Bible picture stories. They’re ready to dig deep and get real.
As these current pre-teens are going to be the very foundation of our church’s Youth Group, our church family knew that now is the time to act. So with the time we have before one of them turns the ever-enjoyable age of 13, we are working to build solid, trusting relationships with these guys right away so that we can be there for them now and in the future, including the times when they’re too cool for us.
Here’s what we’re up to: Bobby, Florian, Will and I are, for the time being, more or less the youth group leaders since none of us are the parents of or related to any of our pre-teens. This decreases the “too cool” factor significantly, and instead (we hope) helps to quickly build a bond between all of us. The four of us met together last week to throw around ideas and hopes for the future of this new youth group, and we came away from our meeting so incredibly excited about God’s plan for this group. While we have prayers and desires for the youth, it’s important to us that the youth themselves feel they have contributed their own individual prayers and desires for the good of the group. So during yesterday’s very first youth group meeting, we opened the floor for thoughts and ideas, and asked the teens to spend some time over the next couple of weeks answering these questions:
What do you expect to get out of this class?
What do you want to learn about God?
What stories or books in the Bible are you interested in reading and discussing?
What topic(s) do you want to talk about that you would find helpful for your life?
Since this is brand new for all of us, we’re beginning small and only meeting the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month with an additional just-for-fun activity outside of church once a month, like bowling or seeing a movie. The four leaders will rotate as the guys are already part of a rotation to lead discussions in the adult class each month. Each youth group class will begin with all of us, teens included, sharing that week’s High’s and Low’s – an exercise that many of us do within our own bible studies – followed by some prayer time. After that, we’ll spend the rest of the time on topics the teens have chosen to talk about or doing devotionals from their Teen Bibles. We can’t wait to get started.
The teens seemed both excited as well as a little apprehensive of this new addition to their church routine. They’re used to playing and singing together, not sharing life stories and praying as a group. If there’s room on your prayer list, we’d love for you to add our up-and-coming teens to it. God is going to do some amazing things through this little group, but they need all the outside love and support they can get. And if you would, pray for Bobby, Florian, Will, and me as their youth leaders – that we’re able to help them along in their journey as a shining light in a dark world, and that we set good examples for them and are always there for them when they need us.