Last night we had a record number of U18s at LIFE the church youth group – with just over 400, I think all of the volunteers who come week in, week out, have just been astounded by the growth which we’ve seen.
I’ve been a part of the Friday night youth group for over six years, I’ve seen it through the deserts – long stretches of bad behaviour, disrespect and no motivation. It was a place for the church kids to see friends outside of a Sunday meeting, there was no time God – and none of wanted that. I mean what normal teenagers want more ‘God-Time’ especially on a Friday.
At a summer conference the youth group went on, everyone was challenged by the fact that other youth groups openly had a ‘God-slot’ and their fruit from that has been amazing. From the start of the September term Liam, our youth and schools pastor, totally mixed things up – he changed the set-up, started reaching out to teenagers in the community and gave God a rightful spot. Admittedly I was reluctant – I didn’t think it work, I didn’t think that people would respond and I wasn’t interested in welcoming all of these teenagers who I wouldn’t mix with at all. But during my own devotional times I read Philippians 2v1-2: ‘Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.’ These verses totally changed my attitude towards LIFE, bringing God’s Grace to the community around us is the purpose of LIFE, it’s the purpose of the church and it would be extremely selfish of me to refuse this and stunt it from growing.
I regularly help out at LIFE now and love seeing the same faces week in week out, we have a core group of teenagers who have totally transformed their lives and Gods Grace is in abundance through the night. This verse from Isaiah came to my mind ‘For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make pathways through wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.’ (Isaiah 43v19) I got so energised when I read this – what we have seen so far is nothing compared to what our God has got in store for us. He has already begun, and he’s definitely not finished. I’m whole-heartedly gutted that I’m leaving in 5 months and won’t get to be a part of it every week.
My dream is for every single one of the teenagers who enter the building to totally grasp our love for them, and for Jesus – and through that come into a relationship with him, reawakening their lives. ‘You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.’ (Psalm 14v11)
http://vimeo.com/11195229 Catch your eyes on this baby!
‘Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.’ (Mark 14v31)