Passing The Torch
Chances are if you’ve been coming to Abundant you’ve ran into one of our youth group members. The youth serve in almost every area of the church that we adults do; media, worship, children, the list goes on. If you’re a parent of one of these youth I hope you understand how awesome they really are. Every week my leaders and I are blown away at the growth we see displayed in these young adults. This year hasn’t been kind to our kids, getting torn from their friends, their regular schedules, sports, music, plays, everything was seemingly taken over night. So once Torch was able to start meeting in person again, we honestly didn’t know what to expect. We should have remembered that God is bigger than any pandemic, because our kids came back hungry for the Word. Torch saw a growth in numbers and in ministry opportunities like Skateboard for the Lord but most importantly we are seeing growth in their spiritual lives.
We’ve covered a range of topics in youth group from what the Bible says when we’re feeling out of control to baptism in water and the Holy Spirit all the way to End Times in Revelation. When I wrap up a series my wife often looks at me and asks, “what’s next?” I must admit I never thought I would be able to be a youth leader for this long. I thought I would run out of material to talk about, I was worried I would just start repeating myself; but again our God is much bigger and every week, every new series it’s Him giving me the message. It’s my job to be the mouthpiece, I just move where and how He directs me!
Revelation and the End Times turned into our longest series yet. Remember when I said they came hungry for the Word? Nothing has sparked more questions, discussions and intrigue like the book of Revelations; it’s a topic we adults can spend hours and days going over and while I don’t have all of the answers it was planting the Word of the Lord in their minds for them to think over, ask questions and hopefully talk to their parents about. Since we’ve been back in person, there we’re three students baptized, and we’ve seen three youth give their hearts to the Lord and we’re believing in many more to come!
Switching gears from the End Times, I wanted to dive into a series that’s hitting our youth hard right now, social media. The first day I started to prepare for this series I myself was blown away at the tactics used by web and app designers; we (not just teens) are literally addicted to our phones. It’s my goal not to demonize social media because we see a lot of good coming from it but rather to help our youth understand the severity of what they post, share, and tweet and how it lasts forever. I want our youth to be influencers for the Kingdom of Heaven, not influenced by what social media tells them to be.
I wouldn’t be a good youth leader if I didn’t take some time and share the awesome thing’s we’ve gotten to do this past year and what’s coming next. We have had so many events from the lazy river float in August with a backyard bonfire to cap the night, to a Reading Royals Hockey Game, from an all nighter to a ugly sweater Christmas party. Skateboard for the Lord may be over for the season but we wrapped it up right with a pizza party. Still to come is our annual corn maze at Wilcox Farms on Friday; and our Thankful for Torch Dinner and game show on the 18th! I get to live my life long dream every day by teaching, preaching, and encouraging the youth of Abundant and our community. If you know any students between 6th and 12th grade send them our way. If you want to be a part of this wild ride the Lord has us on, reach out to me any time. These kids are our future but their also active members of the church right now, let’s continue to show them how important they are to us and to Jesus so they can pass on the Torch.