Today on the Youth Specialties Forum, I read the following poem, written by one of "madhat's" students...
"Youth group is more than just a place to hang out.
More than a place to be every Wednesday.
More than an excuse to get out of your house.
Youth group is more than video games and goofing around.
More than painting nails and girl talk.
More than a pool table and fancy lights.
Youth group is more than singing songs.
More than bible lessons and worksheets.
More than group games and fun activities.
Youth group is not meant to entertain you.
Not meant to keep you from being bored.
Not meant to live up to your expectations.
Youth group is a family, maybe the only family you have.
Youth group is love and hugs.
A place to feel safe.
A place to express yourself without being judged.
Youth group is a place to pray for one another and lift each other up.
Youth group is a place to be accepted for being you not being left out.
A place to experience growth and change that makes you a better person.
A place to build friendships that are stronger than any you’ll ever have.
Youth group is events that change your life and inside jokes you’ll never forget.
Youth group is memories and lessons that will guide your life forever.
A place of encouragement and help to keep you focused on the important things in life.
A place to come together to worship our God.
And most importantly youth group is a place to learn about God our creator.
How to walk with him, know him, and lead others to him.
So the next time you think that group is stupid or boring and you don’t want to come.
Think about the real reason we do come."
I was wondering how this fits in with "church" -- what exactly is our Sunday gathering all about. Is it more than a place to hang out? I don't even think it's that for most people. It's a place to be on Sunday. Not a people even. That's crazy; a church is supposed to be the people, not a place! I work hard to make Sunday night service more than just singing, though singing tends to dominate. It's certainly not made for entertainment --> I spend a lot of time trying to move people, or rather, to convince them to let God move them. Then you get down to the bottom line: The things that this young person wrote should be true about church. Not simply youth group. Church should be a people coming together to worship God together. It should be life-changing. It should help you experience growth. We should be walking together with God, knowing him, leading others to him.
Next time you think that church is stupid or boring and you don't want to come, think about the real reason we do come.