I should have known, it's happened before, it'll hopefully happen again, but my how soon I forget.
I remember the first time it happened, we had planned to go to King's Island for a day in the fall. I had said we needed to have 10 to make the trip worthwhile...no one signed up except for Josie. I told her we couldn't go because we didn't have enough people. She asked for one more day-the result was a need for additional drivers as it seemed we took half of the sixth grade class from Jackson Middle School.
It happened again on New Year's Eve. I said we needed to have five to make the trip worthwhile to go to the lock-in (secretly hoping we wouldn't have enough since I hate lock-ins and I wanted to be fully alert for the bowl games on New Year's Day). We had three-John asked for one more day-the result, eight of us going and one tired youth pastor the next day.
All of these things were worth it-after the fact, and didn't always revolve around something I really wanted to do.
Well, it happened again last night...
Let me give you the back story...two weeks ago I found out that the teens were inheriting the Sunday night service. We have mostly older folks coming, but a few young adults as well. Since we have been pushing small groups we have talked about (emphasis on talked about) making the Sunday evening service a teen service and allowing those who aren't in a small group to still come to the teen service (it's taking shape and I don't know exactly what the end product will look like-most likely some small group discussion after the service). I wanted to launch it in the fall, but was told it was starting last Sunday night (oh the joy of being a staff pastor sometimes). Well needless to say I wasn't really thrilled, we haven't really had the time to put together a teen praise band yet, but we gave it a go Sunday night. The result...missed cues and singing off key, but you know what...at least some of the students really seemed into the worship. It wasn't bad for a first go around of it.
Fast forward to last night-we had our first official practice with the teen band (which right now consists of more young adults and adults than teens, but it is a start). I didn't know what to expect, but it all came together, and honestly it is working out great. There is excitement and I think in a few weeks, we may be ready to do an AM service as well.
So the moral of the story is this-Never underestimate the teenagers you work with. Sometimes they will surprise you, IF you'll let them.
Lord, please forgive me for my lack of trust and preconceived notions of failure. I need your help with this. Help me to see the potential in my young people's lives and be willing to trust them to try it even when I think it will flop. Forgive me for almost missing opportunities that have been life changing (for the teens AND me). Thanks for not giving up on us,and please let this new excitement be the fire I've been praying for! You're awesome and I'm not!