Not me, I’m totally ninja. I’m referring to some of my students.
I will say that things are really starting to change in the Youth group on Wednesday nights. They are becoming more and more respectful, hearing more and more of the Word and attendance is holding steady. I’ve been praying about having some of the guys step up and say they want to be involved in leadership and I have had 4 step up in the past couple weeks. All in all I couldn’t be happier with how things are going.
There are a few problems yet. There has been an ongoing problem with students wandering off on youth nights. Some of them have left to run to 7-11 and come back, others have gone over to the hospital to skate, a few run to friend’s houses to pick them up or something, but a few come and hang out till church starts and then disappear only to be back right after service ends so their parents are none the wiser. We have tried several thins to curtail the disappearing student problem and some things have worked.
We have a great snack shop so students don’t have to run to 7-11. We sell Monster for $2 which is less than anywhere. Everything we sell is cheaper than 7-11. I was running students down as they walked off time and time again, but it seems the most effective thing to reigning in the wanderer was being right. Ok I was right the whole time but a couple weeks ago they learned just how right I was. I warned them many times about the dangers of wandering off but 2 weeks ago a student left with a group 3 times. I brought them back 2 times but didn’t see the third time. That last time someone pulled a knife on the student and stole his iPod touch and skateboard. Everything worked out fine but the most of the students have learned an important lesson.
One group has been an ongoing problem though. They leave do who knows what (ok I know much of what they do) and then come back so parents can pick them up. I have hinted to the parents by calling and saying “I really missed … this week.” And even flat out said, “you know your child leaves when you think they are here right,” but the parents in question refuse to believe me. I’m not sure what else to do. I told them when they leave they have left for the evening but they come back and wait off property. I’m really at a loss as to what I can do about them.
I had another group head off tonight. I talked with them later and explained why they couldn’t do that and it lead to a great conversation with a student that doesn’t really know what to believe. At first he was saying he was an atheist, but then it came out that he was more agnostic than anything. I didn’t brow beat him or anything, more than that I wanted to make him feel that he could come without being judged. It did lead to talking about what I believe and why. I got to share parts of my testimony and he admitted he liked to hear why I believe. That it isn’t just blindly accepting what others have told me but based on studying and real experiences. He said, “I feel like I might be able to believe in something like that someday.”
Like I said, I’m generally happy. I could use some prayer with regards to the ones that leave. I don’t want them to come for the numbers. They are there part of the night and I could count them if that was what it was about. No, I’m really worried for them.