Youth Chatter is my new “Sunday Setlist” post for Mondays. It’ll include the highlights and discussion points from the previous day’s youth activities. Not that I won’t continue doing Sunday Setlists but this is an effort to help shift my blog topics to ones that more reflect what life is looking like for me right now. And since I spent nearly 7 hours on Sunday with students, I think that should get discussed a bit more around here 🙂
So Sunday was our “Moving Day” for student groups. What that means (and why I put it in quotation marks) is that students move themselves to their next level student group on this date. They don’t officially become 6th graders or 9th graders or college students until the fall. However, we’ve noticed the trend that students see themselves as graduating as soon as school wraps up and rather than try and fight that battle all summer, we just assist the shift and allow them safe passage.
What that meant for the youth ministry was a vision casting session for middle school in the morning and pool parties for both groups in the afternoon.
I’ve learned a little about vision casting lately. My 2 books to Vegas were Andy Stanley’s Making Vision Stick and Mark Oestreicher’s Youth Ministry 3.0 (full review coming soon, maybe even good ole MarkO will pick it up on his blog! Haha) so it’s no wonder that I came back jacked up on ministry. I realized that vision casting isn’t about describing your curriculum. It’s not about signing students up on an email roster. It’s not even about getting them into small groups because we believe that’s where life change occurs. No it’s about where your youth ministry is headed! AND it should be simple and memorable (and repeated and celebrated and embraced 🙂 pg. 18.) But I realized that I didn’t have a vision for our youth group. So I crafted one while in Las Vegas of all places. It’s not defined or memorable YET but it’s about Communion. And communion is a bit different from community. Communion is community with Christ in the center of it (YM 3.0 chapter 6 somewhere.) That’s the focus of my middle school right now. We’re lacking on community in general but also community with Christ popping up in every crevice and corner of our activities.
So I cast that with my students! I showed them Wall*E. I showed them the clip where Wall*E first boards the Axiom and we see what life looks like. Everyone, all together, sharing the same space, even moving in the same direction, eating the same things, dressing the same way, “talking” with one another, and asked them what they saw. It was lively discussion about everything in the clip except the one thing I was hoping for until one girl finally said:
Well they’re all together talking but they’re not talking with one another. It’s like they’re texting to someone sitting right next to them. I mean like what’s up with that.
BOOYAH! Are they in community with one another doing things together? NO!
BOOYAH! Right into a discussion about what true community looks like and then further into what Communion looks like with Christ in the center. Fast forward to the clip where the captain holds this gift of a plant and spews at Auto: I DON’T WANT TO SURVIVE I WANT TO LIVE! If we even muster up our imagination to try and comprehend what Jesus has to offer us then this should be our mantra. To live is Christ, to die is gain sound familiar to anyone? Man finds a treasure in a field and sells everything he has to purchase that field sound familiar to anyone? But thank you Wall*E for opening that door for me. We posses a gift so valuable and so magnificent that we should cast all things aside risking even health and comfort for the opportunity to LIVE rather than simply survive.
I went way longer than I originally intended but I’m a bit jacked up about this right now. SO Youth pastors/leaders/volunteers if I can get a Mr. Linky thing going on or find someone who has one set up please come back around each Monday and discuss your ministry highs/lows or other chatter that can help edify the kingdom at large!