I know I've been doing this a lot lately, but my mind has been full of school. Sometimes I need other people's words to start my own flowing.
I'm new to this blog, but this post gave me goosebumps. A link up itself from one of my favorite bloggers Sarah Bessey, it totally pinpoints the world of youth group that I had.
I grew up in a big, non-denominational church. We had a band on the stage every Sunday, a "cool" pastor who gave real-life sermons that didn't get into theology. We had a youth group of hundreds, tons of retreats and camps and short-term missions trips. I was that child.
And you know what? It worked.
For all the drama, all the emotionalism, all the youth-pastor support and cheesy activities, I had good friends, dedicated adult leaders, and an environment that allowed me to embrace God. Without those things I have no idea what would have happened to me.
I was also blessed enough to visit other churches, make other friends, and have other experiences that drove me into doctrine and theology and deeper questions and answers. I was lucky enough (how could that even be the right word?) to have good teachers and books when I was questioning my faith and doubting these truths.
So, to youth leaders, youths, and college kids--embrace these sometimes-corny, oft-derided youth group experiences. They just may be what anchors you in the truth of the gospel, be exactly what you need to keep from dipping toes into the pool of evil that is just waiting for the right moment.
Thanks to be God for all of his ways of reaching us, of holding us, of drawing us to himself. Cheesy worship songs, catechisms, weekend missions trips--as long as it points you to Christ, to the truth that God offers us grace and love and salvation--it can all be effective for him.