Friday, August 29, 2008

Teen Perspectives

I’m going to be interviewing teens who have just graduated from high school. They’ll be answering questions about their experiences, or lack of experiences with their youth groups.

Today I’ll be interviewing:

Beth King

She’s 19 and loves music and writing.

Let’s see what she has to say:

What aspect of your youth group ministered to you the most?

Small groups! They’re the most important. I went to a youth group during my junior high years that meet in small groups. Between 2 and 3 hundred students came to that youth group, so it could be easy to get lost in the crowd. But, in the small group meetings, I could connect with one youth leader and a few different teens on a more personal level. I got challenged so much by these girls. They held me accountable to the things discussed during our meetings.

The youth group “took a break” from small groups for a time, but never really started them back up again. There were a lot of things hitting me during that time and I really felt as if the weight of it all was on my shoulders alone. Small groups give support when you’re so weak that you can’t hold yourself up spiritually or emotionally. I ended up in a place where I was so weighed down, but I didn’t have anyone to help me carry the weight. The friends that were there for me only added to the weight with their negative influence on my life. I ended up getting into a lot of bad stuff, much of which was due to not have a core group of people to hold me up in my time of weakness.

This kind of rolls into the next question:

How did your youth ministry cause you to fall more in love with God?

I got invited to go to another youth group at one point and I went. It was honestly just something I did to get out of the house since my parents had grounded me from basically anything but church and homework outside of school. The new youth group welcomed me in and made a point to get to know me. They listened as I shared my heart and just loved me. They didn’t just label me a “backslider” and leave it at that. Instead, they showed God’s love to me. Then, when they talked about God, I was more interested in what they had to say. After a month at this youth group, I rededicated my life to God.

My experience is a perfect example that this saying is true: people don’t care how uch you know until they know how much you care.

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