Friday, May 7

The Panel

I'm a youth leader this year with my church. I volunteered (yes, willingly) to be a middle-school youth leader...I love that age!

This past Tuesday, which is our youth night, the youth pastor decided to do something different. He wanted to have a panel of youth leaders, allowing the students to ask us whatever they will. We did this in three sections: Social, Moral, or Spiritual questions. Each section was given about 20 minutes of time with games in between to make sure they were awake.

Although there are about 8 leaders, he had four of us on the panel at a time. I was on the Social and Spiritual panels and wow...was it interesting!

Every time we were asked a question, we would sit there a bit in awe, momentarily trying to figure out how to possibly answer this question and who would answer first.

Some of the questions that were asked:
--What do you think of the death penalty?
--What do you do if you don't want to be friends with someone?
--What makes Catholics/Mormons/etc Christian or not-Christian?
--What makes an "R-rated" movie appropriate for middle-school versus high-school?
--When is it okay to show your emotions?
--How do you deal with someone who is invading your boundaries?

My favorite question was the last one in which one of our youth asked each of us what are favorite Scripture passages were, so that he could write them down. I love sharing and discussing the Bible with others.

Overall, this got me thinking. Throughout the year, I have been overwhelmed at times at the heaviness that some of these youth issues, identity issues, friend breaks my heart. Some of them have lives that I couldn't even imagine when I was their age and still can't fully identify with. I have wondered from time to time if we are even reaching these youth...if our lessons are relevant to their lives...if, despite everything, they are being drawn closer to God or feeling pulled away.

But honestly, the questions they asked this past Tuesday, told me that they are not too different from me. I had similar questions when I was in youth group. It was a time of Black/White, Right/Wrong and where do I fit into this crazy life.

I told the youth pastor afterwards that this panel thing is definitely something worth being done again. And another good option would be to have girls/guys panel for gender-related questions.

God is doing a work in me and in the lives of our youth. I love that He chooses to use me and I love that God gave us this opportunity to hear the youth and to speak into their lives.

**If you'd like to know how I answered any of those questions, just ask.

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