For the most part, it has been a pretty awesome year. We had a great turn out for Lab this summer and a spectacular week in Jellico, TN on our mission trip (I just wished more had joined us!). We froze a little on our float trip and we learned just how muddy Woodstock must have been after our outing to Agapefest. Our Messy Event took its name to a whole new level this year and has me wondering how I can make it better in 2014. In May we had a wonderful group of youth get confirmed. Throw in Vacation Bible School, a few service events, a couple lockins with 30+ kids and it was a pretty great year.
But it's not just about what we did. My hope is that the things we spoke of and our delving into God's Word had an impact on the hearts of our youth. We talked about God's greatest commandments (love the Lord your God and love your neighbors). We tried to figure out what God's will looks like in our daily walk with Him (Micah 6:8) In January, 21 youth spent an entire night contemplating and discussing how the Bible uses the imagery of eagles and how it relates to their lives. At Lab we talked about WHATEVER! (Philippians 4:8) Recently we have been talking about the fruit of the Spirit. Throw on top of that are Confirmation classes looking at the Lord's Prayer, the Apostle's Creed and the Sacraments and you have a whole lot of theology going on!
I have grown over the course of the year. Each week I have to read a little deeper and probe a little farther to try and be prepared for the questions I get. Our kids have lots to ask and they want to understand this whole God and faith and church thing. I would ask you take time and share a little about your faith journey with your kids. You will be amazed how much they thirst for and can absorb these conversations.
While 2013 was a great year, I am looking forward even more to 2014. We have a group of youth who have begun planning and helping with our youth group events with their first event coming up in late January. We will be rolling out the Peer Ministry program at Living Lord this Spring which will equip our youth with MORE tools to serve others, This summer we will be heading back to northern Minnesota and the Boundary Waters. Lab is certain to be exciting, instructional and inspirational. I have been blown away with the insight and energy within our 6th and 7th graders in Confirmation and look to get the involved. We have a group of wonderful adult volunteers who are making youth group an amazing place to hangout and grow in your faith.
Finally, I want to thank each of you who make youth ministry possible at Living Lord. From the church council and staff who make my job possible to the volunteers who tirelessly give their time to be with the kids. The parents who get their kids to events on time and the ones who donate their time, resources and energy to do things so I don't have to. And to every youth who make my job a delight for so many reasons: the energy and enthusiasm, the caring and sharing, the silliness and jokes, the willingness to listen to me share the Word and their great capacity to blow me away with their insights and love of God. Thank you all for such a wonderful year and a promising 2014.
God Bless You, each and every one.