Last night I went to the youth group’s trial run before their actual launch next week. What a moment for me! After over a decade of working youth pastoring teenagers, the last several years were very different without a formal youth group environment. As the music slammed in the background and teens hovered over foosball and air hockey tables, I thought to myself, “I think I’ve been here before.” And although I will never play the same role in their lives again, I am sure glad to see our church fill up with that particular group. I miss their strange querks and their intensity. I love the combination of being really laid back and in a complete panic all at the same time. They are a people group that is very unique and definitely adds an element that I personally enjoy to church. They worship with abandon, ask honest questions, and are in the middle of defining a relationship with God that is more personal than whatever has been passed down from their parents.
Kris, our youth pastor, and her team will begin to mold and shape their lives on a whole new level. They will share moments at camps and in small groups that I will never know about, but it will be those times that the teens will look back on and say it was then that they made a decision to live differently. And in the irony of life, someday, not far away, we’ll staff our church with the very teenagers who started their own youth ministry in April 2009.
Church – brace yourselves. The fleet of teenagers coming our way will change us…for the better. They will seem like an untouchable force that is a church within a church, but don’t fall for the facade. They want you to meet them, talk to them, invest in them. They don’t want their own church, they want to be a part of ours. And I welcome them with open arms!