This past Sunday Night, I had my first Sunday Night Youth Meeting with the Middle School Youth. The first night of the year is ALWAYS a big deal. They are excited. I’m excited. They want to know what we are going to do. I want to know who is going to show up. They want to know who can eat the most pizza. I want to know who is going to try and leave me with the biggest mess. All this excitement typically dies when I say “Okay, it’s time to write our covenant for the year.” So, on Sunday, after I called for Pizza, but before we started games, I started the covenant process. I was shocked and amazed when the 8th graders (the oldest ones there) stepped in and took charge. There was no whining. The process was even explained with respect. One young man told the rest of the group that it wasn’t about making rules, it was about being empowered to live in Christ’s kingdom for a few hours while they were at youth group. My jaw hit the floor. Seriously? An 8th grader just said that? I’m in charge here, and I’m sure I couldn’t have come up with that explanation.
With my jaw still dragging, we moved on. They came up with things like remembering to bring your Bible, respecting each other, being serious when necessary, bring friends, participating, and respecting the rules of the games we were playing. Eventually, the Pizza came, and we gathered in prayer around the table, and shared a meal. The before mentioned 8th grader played and ate pizza just like everyone else, but beyond that, he’s got leadership in him that NEEDS to be used and developed.