From the moment I started going to Madison First Baptist, I was a leader. I was one of the few students who had been a Christian for more than a few years, and consequentially, I had the potential to be a very good leader. After several months and hard lessons learned later, I grew into my role. Last year, 2010, was a year of significant growth for me. In the winter and spring, I began to change and even though I was still arrogant and a little foolish, Christ was really working on me. Christ was shaping me into a leader and a mature Christian, and it was one of the most exciting times of my life.
That growth period spilled over into the summer, where Christ worked on my inappropriate behavior and communication skills. Up until last summer, I was almost constantly scolded by friends and family for my bad jokes, rudeness, and pervertedness. I hardly knew how to communicate without tearing others down or making fun of people. Last summer, that began to change. I joked less, communicated maturely, and matured all around.
Up until this Christmas break, my entire mentality towards the youth group was about everyone else. Since I was one of the few strong Christians, I for some reason thought most of the lessons, parties, conversations were driven towards the other students. I'm not saying I am one of those people who thinks everything is for other people, but I also believed the purpose of the youth ministry was to convert the non-Christians in the group to Christ. Since I was a Christian and since most lessons or sermons seemed directed towards people who never do anything, I assumed the point was to help the kids off the street, or the group of middle school girls, or the lost high school students. Unfortunately, most kids from these three groups don;t come anymore.
So what do we do? For my youth pastor and his wife and the other Christians in the group, it's hard to know the purpose when teenagers don't come back. It's so disheartening to plan events and have only the same four students show up. Slowly, I think, the focus may switch to us. When I say us, I mean my brother and I and our two best friends. The four of us see each other nearly every day of the week. We're an almost inseparable group of friends who do almost everything together. We are the only four guaranteed to show up for a youth event, the only four consistently at church, and, unfortunately, the only four who really seem to care about church or God. So why shouldn't the focus be on the students who care, who'll willingly learn, who will grow, who will grow up to be godly young men?
I'm writing this to put my thoughts down on paper and to wrap my head around this huge change. It feels weird to have the focus be on me and my relationship with Christ. My, how times are changing.