Getting a little nostalgic tonight

Youth-MinistryI got to talk about youth ministry a couple of different times today.  It was pretty coolnot something I get to do much these days.

I miss it.

I miss hanging out with teenagerscokes and conversation after schoolplaying my guitar and worshipping with kidswrestling on the floor and shooting hoops and making up games to get kids to interact with each other.

I miss long road trips in the bus.  I miss hiking in the backcountry of the High Sierras, canoeing whitewater, sitting around campfires, and going to mystery locations with young adventurers.  I miss teaching kids the fine art of mixing cement in a wheelbarrow and how to navigate cross-culturally.  I really miss teaching kids how to embrace their doubts, ask important questions, and fearlessly follow Jesus.

This could be an endless post.   I’ll stop with the reminiscing.

Here are some things I love about teenagers (especially in the context of youth ministry):

  • They are teachable.
  • They are open, transparent, and most of the time, brutally honest.
  • They love to have fun.  To a fault.
  • They are struggling to fit in and find where they belong.
  • They don’t judge and condemn those who are different.
  • They follow leaders.
  • They are establishing their independence, but still need structure.
  • They are not afraid of taking risks.
  • They live out their faith from their heart and not just their heads.
  • They don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • The difficult commands of God don’t scare them.
  • They are not afraid to call you out.
  • They are resilient.

Not every kid fully reflects all those characteristics, but I’ll stand by my list as pretty accurate.  But this really isn’t about youth ministry.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if this list was true of adults, also?

Too bad it’s not.

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7 thoughts on “Getting a little nostalgic tonight

  1. #1: I am forever blessed to have been a part of the “Farra era” Youth Ministry.
    However;
    #2: I thought that list was talking more about the Sunday School aged kids with cotton ball sheep projects than for anyone past 5th grade.

    1. Nice to hear from you again, Jeanne.
      #1: That was a pretty cool era. You helped make it that way.
      #2: Cotten ball sheep projects have always rocked.

    2. #1: me too!
      #2: My son made a cotton ball sheep a couple of weeks ago. Are you spying Jeanne?

      Speaking of spying, Denise and I were having a nostalgic conversation about our youth group days yesterday…probably as Mike was writing. It almost made me late to my daily hang out with teenagers.

  2. I’ve been thinking the same things. I hung out with our teens last weekend, and had a great time with them. Teens haven’t completely lost the ability to be genuine yet, and I like that. Kinda saddens me that my youth ministry days have turned into something else… I still jump in when I can, but it’s hard watching from the sidelines.

  3. Maybe that is why I have stayed in jr high and high school for the last 25 years. Thank you for teaching me so much of what you mentioned. But more than that thank you for loving me. I am trying to live up to you good example.

    Bill

    1. Your words made my day, Bill. Those were some good years, weren’t they? I am extremely grateful for the time I got to spend with you and all the rest of the HBers back then. I would never be who I am today without having walked that path with you guys.

  4. The “Farra Era” involved some of the greatest adventures of my life. I find myself going back to those High School years to help me answer daily questions I have as an adult interacting and living with others. It’s still so relevant and will continue to be. 🙂

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