Friday, April 26, 2013

Let the Children Come to Me: Youth Group, the Next Generation

Last week, the Little Chef (and peers) was introduced to the church youth group. The church bus (which looks like a prison one, by the way) came and picked them up on one side of the building, drove around it, and dropped them off at the sanctuary where the youth group was waiting with hands clasped over head to form a tunnel through which the (soon to be) new members ran as they entered the room! I had NO idea all of this was going on (as it was a special moment for just the kiddos) but a friend of mine said, "Come on!" and we ran through the courtyard and snuck in, to watch as our (not so) young ones (anymore) where prayed over as they make the transition from AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, 2 Timothy 2:15) members to full on youth group participants!

(Side bar: Am I REALLY this old?! I swear, I don't feel a day over 25!)

Little Chef was SO excited as later that evening the story of the whole event unfolded before me and hubs. And then, there they were...seven words that caused my heart to drop..."I get to go to winter camp!"

Whoa, whoa, whoa there! Hold on! I don't think so! Little Chef (and the Little Leaguer, for that matter) has NEVER been out of my sight for more than 24 hours...and I don't intend on starting now! Winter CAMP!? Sure some are only over a weekend (which MAYBE I can handle) but others stretch a week! Summer camp, for one! Which inevitably comes after winter camp!

Okay, I admit youth group was one of the absolute best times of my life (as I know it) and I had the privilege of going on ski trips and such but I am so not ready for my young ones to start all that! (Though they are chomping at the bit, I'm sure.) I have already had to experience the bittersweet sensation of "empty nest" (when the College Kid and Second Born moved out and onward)...but I thought I was going to get at least five years to prepare myself for the next dose of reality! Time for me to get to preaching to myself.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16 ESV)

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV)
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