The neat thing about working as a youth pastor is working with teenagers. Teens while sometimes a handful, also have amazing potential. They are no longer small children, and yet they are not quite adults yet and so while in need of some guidance it is also amazing to get to watch them realize what their dreams are and watch as they grow in Christ. The truth is, I've only worked with one other youth group and that was as a Nazarene in Volunteer Service in Catania, Sicily. I worked with teens who already attended and the group was a good size thanks to the work put in by those who had come before me.
Now I find myself in an interesting position. I am working with several others at the church to get the youth group up and going again. We've had our first official two functions and the turn out was pretty good. I mean we didn't have double digits, but considering that when I first began to think about taking on this project we only had two teens who attended on a regular basis and one of them was my daughter, Sarah. What is the neatest about this is watching those who come to the group hungry to know God. We have one teen girl who went and purchased a Bible specifically so she could have one to bring with her to youth group and Sunday mornings. I know that each teen is different and it is going to be different to say the least, but I also know in my heart that this is where God is leading me.
So here are my dreams for our youth group. I would LOVE it if we grew to 15 teens by next summer. Even if we only make it to ten teens next Summer I would still be thrilled. Ten teens from a group that started out with only two teens is nothing to sneeze about. I hope to see several of our teens come to know the Lord and I plan to make some phone calls to youth pastors in the area this week to see about joining forces for several activities, to give the teens the opportunity to meet other teens who love God. I dream of seeing teens come to know the Lord and to grow spiritually. I dream of a discipleship program where we are able to pair up teens with older people in the church to spend time growing their relationship with Christ. But my biggest dream for these teens is that they come to know a personal relationship with Christ that will stay with them until they go to Heaven someday.
This is what I remember about being a teenager who loved God. It was lonely. I often felt as if I were the only one in school who wanted to live her life for Christ, of course, I was one of maybe three teens who attended our youth group who also attended the Senior High School in Great Bend. The neatest thing aside from going to youth camp, was also when we had a teen group come to see us from near Kansas City. Meeting a group their size one fire for God like those teens was inspiring. So I hope that in helping the teens meet up with other youth groups that they will feel less alone and more like they are in this with others who are their own age range.
I ask that you please keep lifting us up in prayer that God speaks to Hank and I as we lead the teens.
Thank you and have a good week.
Love in Christ,