Last night was our last Friends in Faith for the year with this group of people. It was a beautiful night, and we had some good conversation, and I think the youth and their friends are ready to work on their faith projects for the fall. Last night, I was reminded of what a phenomenal gift we have for our youth in the Friend in Faith program.
It wasn’t the silly ice breaker game.
It wasn’t the devotion with Kid President.
It wasn’t the topic of the small group conversations.
It wasn’t the ice cream sundaes.
It was youth coming to church with their friends.
It was the relating of the experiences they had together throughout the year.
It was the growth in the relationship since the beginning of the year.
It was the simplicity of playing volleyball together.
When we surround our youth with another caring, authentic, available adult, we get to remind them that they are important, they are loved, and they are unique children of God! That this space is safe and this place is sacred, and they are not only welcome here, but they are invited to come, have conversation, play, and live into the person God is calling them to be in the world. They do not have to have it all figured out. They do not have to put on a mask and try to fit in. They do not have to do anything or be anyone other than show up as themselves – even if they don’t quite know who that is yet!
Thank you God for adults who get it, for families who encourage their youth, and for a church community that buys in! You are truly at work in the big moments, and the simple fun moments of hitting a volleyball (and trying to not get it stuck on the roof)!