100 youthPublished 1:09pm Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Many times now we hear that the future does not look good. Young people are only interested in their own desires and have no need for God, much less a relationship with Him. While I did not buy into this belief before, I can state forthright that it is not the case for all young people.
During the past weekend, I was given the opportunity to be a part of Discovery Weekend at Hartselle First United Methodist Church. I purposely used the word opportunity because it was definitely well worth my time to be there. There were over 125 junior and senior high students who spent their weekend with their friends and adult volunteers worshipping and getting closer to God. Now to be fair, many churches in our area were having youth weekends and just from seeing postings on Facebook they were all very well attended. Even though there are so many other activities the young folks could be participating in, they chose God and His church.
The youth shared their faith within small groups, to the entire group, and even to the congregations of each service on Sunday. They laughed, cried, comforted and prayed with each other. They learned about how prayer, baptism and communion are all ways to experience grace. Now even though not all who attended were Methodists, and we may have different ways of experiencing baptism and communion, I think we can all agree on prayer. Regardless of church affiliation, I truly believe all came away with a better understanding of their relationship with God and how important prayer and communion, as well as their baptism are in their lives.
If you have never experienced working with young people in this type of situation, I would recommend that you find a way to do this sometime in the future. Watching them be so willing to share with others about how much they love God and want to live for Him would melt even the hardest of hearts. God has a plan for these young people and most are willing to follow. While some may question how one so young can be so strong in their faith, I would rather be amazed at how strong they are.
“Give me 100 men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.” —from a letter in the Works of John Wesley. I can’t wait to see what this group will accomplish for the kingdom.
Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.