As a youth pastor, I spend a lot of time with teenagers. And some people find this hard to believe, but I actually like spending time with them. Often, I actually find that I can communicate better with them than some adults. Teenagers have all this energy and passion. They like to have fun. They are real with you - most of the time. It's crazy too because you can be having this crazy time and fighting with lightsabers in the front yard and suddenly they start talking about their relationship with their parents and how hard it is and you get into this really deep discussion.
One of the things I love the most (although it can often be heartbreaking) is when I get a glimpse into what is really going on in a person's life. Last night as a part of our Wednesday night service, I had everyone write down their greatest fear and then put it on an altar as an act of faith - trusting that Jesus would keep them afloat through their fears. This morning I looked through the slips of paper laying on our altar. It was amazing. Nearly a third of them put down something about losing a loved one - whether it was a parent or a boyfriend or someone else. Several put down fears about failing. There were a number of slips that stated fears about dying.
Often a person on the outside can look in and see a bunch of crazy kids jumping on each other and laughing and breaking things, but when you get a glimpse on the inside, you begin to see a bunch of precious creations of God who are dying and broken. Each week I get a glimpse into someone's life and teenagers - just like everyone - are desperately in need of relationships and acceptance and love. All things that we as followers of Christ are called to share with the world.
I love my job, but I realize that it is not to fix everyone's problems. My job is to point people to the love and forgiveness and change that God offers through a relationship with Jesus Christ, and then I need to help those people point others to the same thing. So how can you get a glimpse into someone's life this week? How can you start looking at the people around you as precious creations of God desperately in need of His love and acceptance and renewal? How can you love the people around you, even if they seem crazy? That is our challenge.
3 hours ago