I’m spending this week with an amazing bunch of teenagers and adults at New Creation United Methodist Church in Chesapeake, Va., at their annual Youth Week where I am serving as the guest speaker all week long.
The kids from the youth group came up with the week’s theme, “Rebel with a Cause.” So each day, we’re taking a look at a specific way in which Jesus acted rebelliously in his culture.
But it’s not just about painting Jesus as a counter-cultural rebel. It’s about showing the reasons WHY Jesus stood against the social, political and religious culture of his time to demonstrate God’s nature of unconditional love and to show people how to live a life that glorifies God. (See my post from last week about the meaning of life.)
In the midst of the teaching sessions, the students are also serving their community through various work projects at local homes and churches, while also having a lot of fun together in community with activities like a pool party, roller skating, bowling, a beach day and a day at a local amusement park. We’re teaching them that it’s okay to have fun together while they’re learning more and more what it really means to live in authentic community.
And even though I’m supposed to be the teacher this week, as usual, I find myself doing a lot of learning. Learning how a church with a strong commitment to youth ministry makes a lasting impact on the culture around it. Learning how this generation sees an opportunity to re-invigorate the church for the glory of God by proclaiming what followers of Jesus are supposed to stand FOR, rather than what we stand against.
Our week has just begun and already it’s been an incredible tribute to our Creator and to the gospel of the kingdom of God. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week brings!
Stay tuned! …