okay, heres the thing. ive been to quite a few different youth groups, but none of them quite fit the bill. im so sick of watching the leaders be more interested in giving us soda and getting us involved in a good game of dodgeball than sitting us down and really digging in deep about spiritual topics. dont they see thats what we need??? dont they understand that we can get what they are offering us anywhere??? some of us come to youth group to be fed. spiritually. and some of us come to youth group because its become a place to gather with your friends and get free pizza. for a long time i justified it by saying "well, at least they are meeting in a church, not on the streets". but really whats the difference?!?!?! its not like theres any teaching that goes with that pizza. its just become a hang out. we can go to teen night at the YMCA for that except...wait! that costs money! so see, the church has really just become a free meeting place. and im sorry if im offending anyone, but i am just absolutely disgusted. i think to some degree, my parents think i just dont wanna go to youth group. at one point that may have been true. but the ONLY reason i wont go now, is because of what it is. or rather, everything it isnt. so, instead of just complaining about the problem, im offering a solution. i have an idea. a baby plan. how im gonna put it in action i have no idea. im still not 100% sure that God is telling me to put my energy into this. and as ive said before, i dont see how i can "mentor" high school kids when I AM ONE!!! but here is what i do know: if this is what God wants me to do, He'll show me how. He'll map out my course, leave footprints for me to follow and be there by my side holding my hand to help me along. and as a good friend pointed out: "let no one despise you because of your youth..." (1 Timothy 4:12)
so i am going to go ahead now and tell you my depiction of what a youth group should (and hopefully someday will) look like. oh, and one other thing: there may be youth groups like this around. if there are any, please, let me know. these arent necessarily MY ideas. Just what i want to see. and as of late, what i want to put in action...
Weekly "Mentoring" Sessions: a strong Christian leader will meet with students on a need-to-basis. or weekly. the leader and the student will meet maybe at, say, Starbucks. just to talk, to catch up on their weeks. the idea is for the leader and the student to be friends. to be there for each other (obviously the leader is probably there for the student more than the other way around! but you never know!) if you really wanna know what i am talking about, read the melody carlson "Diary of a teenage girl" books. but ill try to just add parts of the books that pertain to what i am talking about later.
Weekly Youth Group Meetings: Incredible worship, a powerful, challenging message, and small groups. sounds like a regular youth group to me. but i am talking, like, seriously. i think a lot of times thats what youth group is SUPPOSED to look like, but the leaders are either not strong enough to keep the kids in line, or they are so afraid of scaring people away by being forceful that they end up sending the kids that really came there looking for something spiritual packing. and, once again, we are searching for a place we can JUST BE FED! really, is that SO much to ask? it sure seems like it! and im sorry, if im offending anyone. really, i am. but this is my opinion. take it...or leave it. but this is something i feel passionate about and im done just keeping my mouth shut for fear of hurting someones feelings. because shutting up doesnt get the world changed. it doesnt get homeless people homes and it doesnt get hungry kids fed... In ANY sense. Physical, spiritual, or otherwise.
Oh, i guess ive gotten away from my plan. well, back to it we go! :)
Now, this is actually a two-fold idea.
theres 2 Bi-Weekly plans that fit together.
so, one week theres plan one
next week theres plan two.
the following week theres plan one again,
so on and so forth.
now, to tell you what plans one and two are!
plan one: An in home small group for students that want to dig deeper into God's Word, each other lives and our own. To build relationships and be there for each other.
Plan two, "missions" trips. we just spend a night, every other week, going out as a group, a team, and showing others God's Love. As my family and i were discussing last night, its great, wonderful, to be fed in a church. but all that doesnt mean anything, or at least not as much as it could, if we arent being fed, and then going out into the world and feeding other people. only then are we living like Jesus. at least in this aspect. i dont know the particulars. but i mean even something as simple as... going to the gas station and washing peoples car windows while they pump their gas. or we could go out for ice cream and give the cashier money for the next peoples order. whether they look like they "need" it or not. thats not the point and thats really not up to us to decide, is it?
and what about a summer camp...? ok. im getting carried away. but i dont view that as a bad thing. not. at. all... :) i am so excited about this new idea God has planted inside of me! :)