I have been struggling for a while with our youth group on Sunday night. We are bringing in a whole new crowd of kid and they are a bit rough around the edges. I have enlisted some adult help* and switched to a more experiential model of teaching and that has helped some, but what probably made the most difference was has been the time I have spent outside of church with students.
I have been making an effort to meet with kids outside of church whenever I could. I had supper with one of my high school kids this week and found out that he had gone through a pretty rough time as a kid. I also found out that another younger kid was going through the same thing.
So tonight I connected those two people. It was amazing to see this guy who many people feel is trouble talk to another kid who constantly gives me grief and see them for at least a moment bounding.
It wasn’t earth shattering. The older guy didn’t know what to say and the younger kid was a little worried about the whole thing, but the concept was dare I say it holy. It was a chance for the older kid to practice being the church and the younger kid to feel that he is heard and loved.
It wasn’t much. There is still a whole lot to do, but for a moment there was a glimmer of hope.
These days that is pretty amazing.