I have been acting as our youth director for the past 7 months, and I confess that sometimes it's the most stressful thing I've got going. But I've discovered lately that one of the reasons I've been stressed is that I've been underestimating our youth.
The youth at St. Mark don't just want to be entertained. They want a way to connect all their lives with the life of the Holy. They want to look in the Bible and see themselves, including their passions and failings.
On Sunday, I took what I thought was an "easy way out". I decided to have them work on retelling a Bible story--their choice. They had loved the dramatic retelling of David and Goliath that we had used in worship early this summer, and so I thought they might get a little creative with another story. Plus, they love it when we bring out the video camera with the thought of getting to be "on film".
The first thing out of one of their mouths was "how about the story where the guy raises an army of the dead?" I explained about Ezekiel and about the prophets and some of the context and we read the scripture and talked some more about it.
And then their brains and the Holy Spirit started to kick in. They started wondering what it might be like for the "Master of the Universe" to drop "Z-Man" onto the St. Mark playground. What bones, literal and figurative might be there? How would God bring them to life? And what's more, how could we film it and present it to the congregation?
I loved watching them pouring over the Bible to get ideas for the script...and cutting out bones and picturing what the bones of the church might look like. They didn't need me to entertain them with a game. They just needed to be let loose into the places where God has worked...is working...and will work always. And then know that those places were here. Now. With them.
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