Toby boldly stepped forward at church in the Vendome one day and signed himself up to work with the local teen youth group. I sat on my tush. Somehow, I got involved last year and even moreso this year, I think. This year, we were kind of prompted by our niece, Kelsie, to lead a small group for our sophomores. We sort of dragged our feet on it. So much going on, needing a day to rest, adding another “thing” to our plate. This “thing” is sort of evolving into something I didn’t expect and I think it’s pretty important to stop and try to absorb what’s happening.
We decided, after weeks of going back and forth, to have the kids meet at our home Sunday evenings. But, I was very clear that we would have purpose, material, and it would not be a gab session. It would have purpose. This extra purpose I wanted us to have only added more stress to myself because I wanted to design the material. We’ve had sort of an idea.
Year’s ago, we heard this phrase, and it really stuck with both of us. It says something like (and I’m sure Toby will correct me if I’m wrong), “The leading cause of atheism today is Christians… who acknowledge Christ with their lips and deny Him by their lifestyle. That, is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” We were the unbelieving for this very reason. The material and purpose we have for our small group is to learn, grow, and most importantly SHOW Christ in your life. Talk is cheap. We’re focusing on one word for a few weeks. We try to understand the word by the worldly definition and then we are doing activities to read scripture and study bible stories demonstrating the word spiritually. Next, the kids are required to choose several action steps for the next week.
All of the reasons I thought that this commitment would suck, are totally worth it. I’m so serious. You know what’s crazy? Instead of taking away from our family time, it has ADDED! Our kids love these sophomores and our nine year old is drawn into the activities and studies. We are together, laughing, talking, hoping, dreaming, loving with a bunch of silly 16 year-olds and our other kids, too. =) Instead of making me more tired, I wake up excited to think about one of the kids and what their spiritual needs are. Physical, too. I am energized in loving them.
I think the most profound moment I have had since doing this small group was Sunday night, long after the teens were gone, the study was over, and our family was together, praying before we ate our Ramen noodles. We sort of forgot to feed the children dinner. Oops. We had discussed Miley Cyrus with our teens and right after they left, our six year-old, Tate, came and asked me what sin was. Crap. I tell her it’s when you do something naughty you know you shouldn’t do. So, she said, “Miley is going with the devil!” She had this terribly vindictive look in her eyes. I stopped my chores in the kitchen and asked her, “Well… you’ve been naughty, right?” She nodded. “Do you think YOU should go to hell?” Her head dropped. I told her that she was a good girl and loved Jesus, but sometimes she makes bad choices. I told her the same was true for Miley Cyrus. She is a good girl, but is making bad choices. We asked Quincy to lead the prayer before our meal and she prays, “Dear Lord, Thank you for our food and we ask you to please help Miley Cyrus with her life.” How blessed are we to have these amazing kids who will someday go out to help the world, not to condemn it.
This crazy little thing called “will” works in pretty amazing ways. Will you do something to serve the Lord in a bigger way today? ❤