I’m a small group youth leader at my church. I remember when Matt, the then youth minister, asked if I would help lead a small group in Broadcast, the youth group at church. I thought “Me?!? No way! I’m only good with little guys. Teenagers scare me.” And here I am seven years later, loving these guys and girls! They call me Mother Mary because I am a mom and my name is Mary. It’s that simple. It’s respectful, yet comfortable.
So last night about 20+ kids showed up to participate in a video scavenger hunt.
– START AT 7:15 p.m.
– ENTIRE TEAM MUST BE BACK AT THE HOUSE BY 9:00 p.m. (10 POINTS DEDUCTION EACH MINUTE YOU’RE LATE)
– Nothing Illegal. No Speeding. Be respectful of others. Remember whom you represent.
(– 50 points if you are asked to leave somewhere or stopped by a police officer)
– When noted “all team members” one may be used as the camera person.
– NO TWO VIDEOS CAN BE DONE IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE. Go to at least 5 places. 10 extra points for the most creative places visited. The more creative, the better! The more people involved, the better!
It’s funny how different people read and interpret these instructions. Me? “Let’s just go and have fun.” Others? “Now, what does illegal really mean?” “Exact same place? Does that mean same shopping center? Same mall? Same store?”
The students were divided into six different teams with an adult driver/videographer. The teams were not allowed to see the items to be found or done until Jeremy said “Go!”
Challenge a stranger to a push-up contest. You got an extra 50 points if you beat him. Unfortunately, this team asked some big guy to the task. One of the girls teams was able to add the bonus points by asking a 4 year old.
Found this group in the mall as they were strategizing their next move. Two of the guys ran over to the Cookie shop to buy a Coke, which needed to be chugged entirely, then produce the best burp possible. Awesome guy stuff. Meanwhile the rest of this team headed over to the Clinique counter for Carter’s make-over.
Needless to say, a teenager with his beginning dreadlocks in the makeup chair, drew a crowd…a security officer, families and the makeup manager who thought out loud that maybe this wasn’t a good idea.
Jeremy and I left this fun group and headed over to Walmart hoping to see some action. Unfortunately, we missed the stranger trying on an outfit picked by the students. We didn’t get to watch kids ask random people “Have you seen the Muffin Man?” But we were able to witness the walking of HannahMarie on a leash by Grace in PetSmart!
And this fine group sang and danced to a rousing rendition of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” in front of Office Max. They received extra points for dancing, but none for getting passers by to join them. One group had the greeters at Costco singing and dancing!
Oh, how I wish, I had pictures of the team that walked into the jewelry store, asked to look at engagement rings, then Jonathan getting down on one knee to ask the lady’s hand in marriage. She said sure if he was paying!
You know…it can be quite frightening to be raising teenagers in the world today. But I watch these kids and see kindness, intellect, talent, and humor. I am the first to admit that most will probably go off to college and forget all about this thing called Christianity. They won’t step foot into a church while away from home or open the bible.
BUT there will be one or two who will seek a church home, sign up to belong to a Christian campus organization and even attend a weekly bible study. One of these kids will bring a friend, a family member or a stranger to the loving Word of Christ. Another will want to devote his or her life to being a missionary either on the other side of the world or right there where they live.
I know the statistics…80% of college age students fall away from the church. I have a choice to make with this fact: throw my hands up in despair? Or actively get in there loving, laughing, teaching, guiding and showing these kids what it means to be a Christian? I choose to help parents plant the seeds, nurture the growth and encourage their souls to open and accept the most magnificent gift of all…the love, grace and mercy of God.
My faith in these kids was further sealed as they left my house Friday evening, thanking me for hosting and many telling me they loved me.
Yea. I see a bright future ahead for us all. Thanks for dropping by,