We miss you.
I know it may not seem like it. We seem fine without you and you’ve probably convinced yourself it doesn’t matter that you haven’t been here for a few weeks, or a few months. Honestly, if we had the time we would personally knock on every student’s door on Wednesdays just to make sure they were going to join us that night. Please don’t think that we don’t care about you just because we’re ok without you. That’s not how it works.
There are quite a few reasons you might not be here anymore. Maybe you’re really busy with a sport or extra-curricular activity. We get that, we know teenagers are expected to keep crazy schedules these days.
Or maybe you’ve started to doubt God. You aren’t sure if he’s there, or how God could exist when the stuff you’re learning in school or the hard things you’re experiencing make it seem like believing in God is foolish. I promise, we’ve been there too.
Or maybe you messed up. Either by accident or on purpose, but now you’re scared of what will happen if we find out the things you did. Or you’re worried you’ll have to do the hard work of trying to do the right thing, but doing the wrong thing seems easier… and honestly it seems more fun too. A least for now. You aren’t coming to youth group because you’re scared what would happen if we knew.
We might not know the specifics, but we know enough about teenagers to know that everything above is part of it. The thing is, we don’t care about that. We care about you.
We know you were made for healthy community. We know it’s easier to follow God if you follow alongside others. We know you want to do the right thing but it’s really hard sometimes. We know you aren’t sure what you think about a lot of things.
We aren’t asking you to have all the answers.
We don’t expect you to have it all figured out.
We won’t tell you to just “pray more” and Jesus will rescue you. (Although we do think you should pray more, and we do think Jesus will rescue you… but we won’t just say that and expect you to be better.)
The thing is, this community is the best thing that could happen to you no matter what. If you are loving God and on fire for him, this is a place to celebrate. If you’re mad at God and doubting him, this is a place to wrestle with those feelings.
Our goal isn’t attendance. It’s community.
Our goal isn’t behavior modification (just getting you to do the right thing), it’s life transformation (helping God shape you as a person). We believe in you, and while I wish we had the time to call every youth every week and tell them that, I desperately want you to know that we are excited every time you walk through the door.
So please walk through the door. No matter if it’s been 3 weeks, 3 months, or 3 years, we love every chance we get to hear about your life and we want to be a part of how God is working in it. Bring your frustrations, your fears, your questions, your hurts, your mistakes, your exhaustion. Bring it all. We miss you.