I have had the opportunity lately to start volunteering with our youth group. I love being with the teens! They energize me and I get inspired looking at all the potential contained in those young people. If they can stick with God, there is so much in store for them. My desire is that they would fully embrace what God has planned for them and that they would fall completely in love with Him.
I’m 32 now, but I can still remember what it felt like to be a teenager–the new-found freedom and independence, the enjoyment of community, the satisfaction of earning my own money, the feeling that I could do anything. One of the most heartbreaking things to me is that the majority of adults lose that idealism and confidence that teens possess in abundance. I’m not talking about a naive optimism and feeling of invincibility. I wish adults could still believe in great possibilities and have the faith that it takes to try and realize those dreams. Specifically, I mean God’s vision for our lives and communities, that He plants in our brains. But most of us are too jaded, worn out, or apathetic to even consider making those visions a reality. Teens are not fettered like that.
Anyhow, I’m getting a little off topic. Our church’s youth group is exploring the idea of partnering with other local youth groups. What better age to try out a unified Body of Christ than on idealistic teenagers? So far we’ve met twice as a group. It has been interesting. We are all used to the way we do things in our own congregations, so when we meet it requires flexibility and a willingness to put others first. It can also be difficult to fully open up to people we don’t know well. That is something that will require time and intentionality in relationships.
The vision for this joining of groups is that the teens would embrace the idea of a unified body and come up with some goals for their group. We want them to embrace what God has planned for them, and for their vision and direction to be an overflow of their relationship with God and what He is directing them to do. Our job as the adults would be as wise counselors, advocates, and facilitators. To me, it seems like a very exciting position to be in!
I am looking forward to what will come out of this group, but it is something that will take time, patience, concerted effort, planning, and an investment in the teens so that they can understand and own the vision for themselves. Where will this ride take me? I don’t know. But my bags are packed and I’m ready to go!