a couple of days ago i was cleaning out some stuff in my office and i came across a piece of paper from about a year ago. it had scribbled writing on it and was from a meeting i had with a friend. during our hour or so together he was trying to help me figure out what i wanted to accomplish in the youth ministry that i’m a part of. here are some of the things that i had wanted to see happen:
ultimately, i want the youth and the people we come in contact with to experience God. church kid’s have loads of knowledge about God. they have it coming out the ying-yang. i mean, come on, they were raised memorizing scripture and doing sword drills and spending time in sunday school. they know lot’s about God. yet many still don’t know God. they haven’t yet experienced God. i want this to happen.
i want to see unity amongst the group. i want to see real relationships develop amongst people, not just superficial ones. which leads me to the next point…
i want to see acceptance of others. acceptance of the new, the hurt, the broken, the different. i want people to feel like this is a place where they can come and be accepted despite their shortcomings, because God accepts us. i want people to feel safe enough to stop pretending like they’ve got it all together. i want people to feel safe enough to admit they are struggling and to know that they are accepted. because Jesus never turned an honest searcher away, no matter how stained they may have been. and it was in his acceptance of them, and them of him, that they are made clean.
i want to see holistic growth. growth in all area’s of their life as a result of experiencing God and being nurtured in community.
i want to see youth reaching out in love to others. i want to see servanthood with no agenda. i don’t want our church to serve the community just so they can add people to the pew, rather, i want to see them serve the community because they love the community. and because this is what Jesus has commanded us to do.
but ultimately, i think that none of this can truly happen until people experience God. i think that when we experience God, i mean REALLY experience and know him, this will lead us into unity. it will lead us into acceptance and growth. and it will lead us to go low in humility and serve the least of these.
which brings me to the question: can i make this happen? can i ‘make’ young people experience God?
how can i foster this kind of experience?