Since last Sunday night Susie and I have been away speaking at camp for a couple of hundred middle school students. It has been nearly 8 years since I have been a youth pastor and I feel like I am still young at heart, however I learned some things this week that I think we can all use in our lives.
1. Passion for Jesus is not just for adults- In fact, this week I witness students worshiping Jesus with a passion unseen in most churches today. They worshiped without all of the fancy lights and sounds and full band that we have come to expect when we worship. These students worshiped to new songs and songs that I sang when I was first in student ministry. I leaned this week passion for Jesus is just that passion and the style of your worship should not dictate your passion. Your love for Jesus should be demonstrated by your passionate worship of Him.
2. Sundays should be mini Camp experiences- Maybe you remember a camp experience that you has as a kid where you were so excited about Jesus that you thought you would never turn your back on him. Most of us when we returned home kept that excitement for about a week then it soon faded. This got me thinking, what if our Sunday experience at church is supposed to be that mini camp experience where we get excited about Jesus and by the end of the week when the excitement begin to fade we come back to church for a recharge.
3. This next Generation is going to change the world- I am amazed at the desire for transformation in this generation of students who are growing up. I know that sometimes people give students a bad rap making statements like "we are in trouble if this is our future". My question is what investment are we making in this next generation.
We can either spend our time padding our 401k plan or we can invest in the next generation. If we invest more in the next generation by modeling for them a lifestyle that honors Christ I believe that our future will be amazing.
God has given each of us a unique opportunity to impact the next generation. And I think as I read scripture I am reminded that most of the time when God wanted to start a revolution he started with the young people. Maybe because they have more energy then old people but maybe it has more to do with the fact they they are willing to believe God for the impossible. I know that I cannot go back and be a middle school student again but I can learn from them about passion and transformation.
It has been an honor to serve as camp pastor for a week and my prayer is that my experience this week will not be a short lived experience but a life changing one.