Friday, October 23, 2015

Youth Group

I have recently become aware of... Well a lot of things (one of which is that Snickers have peanuts. Why would anyone poison such an amazing idea?)  (For those of you who haven’t guessed yet, I’m allergic to peanuts. It’s not bad, I just stop breathing and stuff so don’t worry.)  But that’s not my point. 

I have become aware of the different kinds of youth groups.

Youth groups are amazing—don’t get me wrong there—but sometimes… they tend to drive me a bit crazy.

The first kind of youth-group I would like to discuss is what I like to call the, “My Parents are making me come to this church joint so you better make it entertaining at least.”

At this type of youth group you will find wifi, pokéman, fear factor games and messages that are about as deep as a crack in the sidewalk.  They are less of a youth group and more of a comedy routine.

Look, I’m not expecting GK Chesterton, and I realize that my life basically is a comedy routine, but can you at least make me think a little bit? Thanks.

The converse of this kind of youth group is the “Overload” Youth group.

This is the kind of youth group that is lead by 98 year old Joe who reads out of the Encyclopedia and does science experiments on the molecular structure of the stratosphere while he’s teaching.

This youth group is filled with the kind of people who will get Nobel prizes for what they do with their lives.

It's awesome! But… it’s just kind of a knowledge overload. If you are the kind of person who wants to get a Nobel Prize…The formaldehyde is in the second drawer on the left.

But as a human who wants to learn about Jesus at a youth group… It’s not really for me.

The third kind of youth group is the, “You guys have known each other for wayyy to long” kind of youth group. 

I’ve always found this kind of youth group extremely awkward. 

It generally goes a bit like this….

Youth Pastor: So today we are going to talk about… Hey Saul, anything you have to say can be said to this entire group. No need to whisper.

Front seat Felicity: So… we are talking about Saul?
Backseat Becca: So… just one thing…

*room breaks out in scattered conversation.*
Forty-Five minutes later
*Everyone is still talking among themselves*

Youth Pastor: For all of you new people [Looks at in the general direction of the three Joy children just sitting there like “mmmhm.”] It’s not normally like this.

The night may or may not be concluded by a dance party hosted by the youth pastor. (Who shouldn’t be dancing. Ever.) and a child who is amazing which makes the youth pastor look 27 million times more awkward.

This kind of youth group needs their own TV show. I would watch that.

Basically, I’ve been to a lot of youth groups, have meet a lot of amazing people (love you all!) but…

It seems like there should be something more. A happy medium of sorts.

Is there a kind of youth group where the pastor believes that teens can do hard things? Is there one that the students believe that too and are living loudly for Jesus? Where we are shaping our generation into a more Godly society?

When new believers and just new people in general come, they are barraged with people—their peers—who want to see them sink in their roots. Not in an overwhelming way, but in a “Hello Brother and Sister in Christ! Lets grow in the word together.”

The youth pastor would lead them deeper into scripture and ‘fill’ them back up so that they could go speak the name of Jesus to everyone they come in contact with. I've always thought it would be cool to Skype with missionaries at youth group, maybe not every week, but to get to see the people that are preaching the name of Jesus to all the world. 

Instead of playing fear factor games, maybe we could do things that are fun, but more... let's just say don't involve peanut butter being spread on people's face or drinking soda through a sock. 

Anyone living in… (I have no clue where I live now…) The left (??) of Oklahoma who knows about a youth group like that?

Because I’m ready for more than Pokéman,  mmmhm-ing and the encyclopedia Britannia.

Are you?

Do not let anyone treat you as if you are unimportant because you are young. Instead, be an example to the believers with your words, your actions, your love, your faith, and your pure life.”
               --1 Timothy 4:12

~Rachel Joy

(Upon further reflection, I probably live on the right of Oklahoma. I’m not sure though. I live above Texas. We’ll just say that.) 

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