Learning from our Youth

I think that sometimes we as adults discount the faith that the younger generation possesses.  We think that we have it all figured out and it’s our duty to teach them about God and faith and theology, and that they don’t have anything to teach us.  However, after my week in Colorado with the senior high ministry, God revealed to me that the youth in our church have a lot to share with us adults, just as much as we have to share with them.  Here are just a few of the things that I noticed while I was with the group during the week:

One thing that I noticed very early on during the week, was the community that our youth group had with one another.  It was not uncommon to see youth praying for one another following Bible studies or campfires.  And the senior high youth were able to be excellent role models to the junior high youth on the trip, by sharing experiences that they had related to their faith, and praying for one another as well.  Much of the down time was spent singing to Taylor Swift songs and dancing around and being goofy, or playing cards with one another.  It was really cool to see the entire group come together during the week, and I felt as though what the group experienced was just a tiny piece of what heaven will be like, when everyone seems to get along with one another and has fun together while growing and worshiping.

Another thing that I noticed about this group was the boldness that several of the youth possessed.  Each night during campfire, they were encouraged to share testimonies about what God was doing through them during the week or how they saw God at work.  Several of the youth took the opportunity to share during campfire, and it was pretty incredible to hear what they had to share.  Many of them were dealing with some pretty serious issues, and they were willing to open up about the struggles that they faced and what God was doing through those struggles, or they asked for prayer with what they were dealing with.

These are two areas, where I feel as though I as an adult believer, struggles from time-to-time.  Before Colorado camp, I could honestly say that it’s probably been a while since I have been honest with a fellow brother or sister in Christ with what I was struggling with and asked for prayer for that particular issue or struggle.  But several times throughout the week, God presented opportunities for me to share what God was doing in my heart, and ask for prayer.

I would also say that other than my Lifegroup, I am not sure how many other people I share what God is doing in my life, or how he is stirring in my heart.  So often at church, we are rushing out of service to go grab kids from Sunday School, that when someone stops to ask how I’m doing, I’ll reply that I’m doing fine and just hurry off, instead of sharing those things that God is doing in my life.

I’m still trying to figure out how to open up those opportunities to share what God is doing in my life, or share my struggles and ask for prayer, on a more regular basis.  I feel as though sharing with my Lifegroup is a start, but I feel this longing and desire for this to be more of a regular occurrence.

It was very encouraging to me though, to see our youth so fired up for God and so willing to spend time with one another in community, and I feel as though that is the purpose of the church.  Since our return from Colorado, there have been several gatherings where the majority of high schoolers that went on the trip, have gotten together for pool parties and bonfires, to spend time with one another and continue to encourage one another.  And they keep inviting me to attend, which I think is pretty cool!

What about you?  When was the last time that you stopped to observe the youth in our church and listen or see what they have to share with us regarding faith and their experiences with God?  If it’s been a while, I would encourage you to stop one of them and just ask them what God is doing in their life.  Who knows, they make take a moment to share something awesome with you, and then pray for you!



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