I always loved the first day of school. Brand new back-packs filled with brand new pencils. The crisp scent of fall wafting in as summer fades away. A heightened sense of anticipation... what will I learn? who will I meet? what great new things lie in store for me this year?
Even as an adult, this time of new beginnings has not lost its magic. After a typical youth ministry summer of pool parties and camps, we too are heading back into our school-year routine.
We welcome back students who have been gone with their summertime activities. We kick off our midweek small groups, and build those bonds that allow students to dig deep into the Bible, share questions and doubts, and pray for one another.
I am especially excited for the new things that this year will bring. This Sunday, we are kicking off a new "Re-imagined" Sunday School, which offers students a choice of classes, designed to teach and equip them to use their unique God-given gifts for ministry. For example, we have a group of junior highers that will study what it means to "Love your neighbor", then during that same Sunday School hour, will go out into the neighborhood to actually live that out! How cool is that?
At the end of the month, we will also be launching a new youth worship night. I get chills imagining all of our students coming together to lead one another in worship, praising God with all of their different gifts. Imagine music, devotion, dance, prayer, drama, art, all for the glory of God...
I cry out for a generation whose faith is lived out daily, not just talked about at church on Sunday. I pray that our youth learn to enjoy serving God passionately now, not passively watch older Christians do the work of the church. May each young person discover the unique role God has given them to play, and may we appreciate all the parts of the body of Christ.
I really sense God is preparing to do something huge, and that we get to be part of laying that foundation. Please PRAY for our students, our leaders, our church, that God will move in a mighty way, that we will see His kingdom grow here in our community.