Last night we went caroling instead of having or normal Young Adults group. I think things went very well. Only 20% of my youth went, but that really is pretty good when you think about it. We didn’t go visit all the families. Instead we went to visit the church shut-ins and nursing homes. Generally I think everyone enjoyed it. I know the people we visited loved it. The Youth seemed to have a good time also.
This is the first of our service projects. I was convicted by a blog over at SCL where Jon pointed out that being a Christian isn’t about convenience. It wasn’t convenient for Jesus to step out of glory into the tiny baby in the lowest of conditions. It wasn’t convenient for him to get down on his knees and wash his disciple’s feet. It wasn’t convenient to be beaten and humiliated. It wasn’t convenient to be nailed to a cross and to die there. It wasn’t convenient to be buried.
He didn’t do all of this stuff so our lives would be convenient. This is something I’ve tried teaching my Youth this past year. I have taught on service many times and I have emulated it for them, but I haven’t really pushed them into it. So last year was a year of teaching, now we will begin doing.
It is my vision that once a month we will go to one of the older people in the church and serve them by doing work for them around their house. I want to focus on the 70 plus people in the church and I want to do this completely free for them. So often they have used Youth labor as a fund raiser, and that is fine. The Youth need to raise their funds for events the go on. It teaches them stuff. The Youth should also do things simply because it needs doing too though. That teaches them other stuff.
By completely free I mean that we want to provide all costs for any material and tools that we need as well as the labor. This means we will need to be sponsored by the 20-60 year olds in the church. Suddenly the service project from the Youth to the Elderly will be involving the whole church. I think that is the way it should be.
Of course, when things like this happen it isn’t just about working, I think there is an aspect of learning too. I picked the elderly because I want the Youth to understand the value they have. To that end I am going to ask the ones we are serving to talk to the Youth at the end of the project. I have some topics planned and I’m open to suggestions for other topics. I know a lot of my Youth are really worried about the economy. Teens live in the moment, and when things are bad there is no hope. I would love to have someone who lived through the great depression to share how the made it through and how they’ve also made it through several other recessions. Of course I have a few other topics as well, but this one seems particularly relevant.
Anyways, this is why I think the caroling is important. It is where we are starting with teaching inconvenient service.