For the month of September, the youth have been spending time talking about what it means to be RADICAL. In the 90’s radical meant “cool” yet, when Jesus was around, he was accused of being “radical” – just not in the “cool” way. What Jesus said about God’s love was radical. And how Jesus told us how to love each other seemed radical too. During the four weeks of September we focused on four lessons:
- Radical people listen more than they speak. James, Jesus’s brother, wrote in the bible that one way to love is to listen – listening with your heart, mind, body and with curiosity. The teens were challenged to find something radical to do in a way that requires truly listening.
- Radical people don’t play favorites. Being radical means treating everyone equally and not showing favoritism. Can you imagine being Jesus’s sibling? How could Jesus not be the favorite of the family. James probably felt left out at times. So, we chatted in week two about having favorite people vs. showing favoritism and they were challenged to do one thing to include more people instead of playing favorites.
- Radical people watch their words. Both Jesus and James knew this was true: the words we say matter because they’re a reflection of who we really are. So we need to watch what we say and watch what’s in our hearts. The teens were challenged to think before speaking in the coming week.
- Radical people fight for peace. We all get in fights at times, or get greedy, act self-centered or get defensive. But the alternative to those things is as James calls us “peacemakers”. So how do you be a radical peacemaker? Stop the Drama (Don’t start it). Build a bridge (Don’t burn it). Fight for others (not just yourself). Make peace with God (Not just others). The challenge for our youth in the final week was to identify something radical they could do.
As I am already two months into serving our teens of Dayspring I marvel at their wisdom, eagerness, humor, willingness and ability to think beyond themselves. There is no doubt it is hard to be walking this world right now as a teenager. Yet they do it with such kindness, grace and effort.
October is going to be filled with lots of fun as our teens take over the Fall Festival to provide lasting memories for the youth of our church. I can’t wait to share the recap of this amazing event!
~Erin Larkin, Youth Ministries Coordinator