The previous post has received quite a bit of discussion. Clearly, the primary responsibility for bringing up our children in the training and instruction of the Lord belongs to their parents. What a blessing it is, though, when parents have the support and assistance of a vibrant community of Christians as they strive to fulfill God-given responsibility! What a tragedy it is, on the other hand, if/when this same community is a hindrance, rather than a help in this regard. Beyond these considerations, are the huge numbers of young people whose parents have little or no interest in spiritual things for themselves or their children. But, that’s another discussion point, isn’t it?
Those who commented on the previous post have made many positive suggestions as well. It seems to me that the thread that runs through all of these is the personal touch. If we are going to be of any help in encouraging our high school graduates to follow Jesus, then long before our children reach their senior year of high school, members of their church family need to be building close ties with them. It seems that these ties need to be highly elastic, permitting the graduates to grow, flex, stretch and even strain against them. Thus, our precious young people will be able to successfully find their way in the world, while cultivating their own salvation with reverence in their hearts for God.
With respect to the positive things that are done to encourage our graduates, I’d like to share a letter that one of my sons received from Ground Zero Youth Ministry, a dynamic youth ministry in which he occasionally participates. If you would like to check out some of the things that this group is doing, click HERE. I believe this letter captures both the spirit and substance of what we need to be conveying to our graduates. Here it is:
By now, you are probably getting ready to graduate. I know this is an exciting time for you. It is also a little bitter-sweet. You are probably excited that you are done with high school and realize that a chapter of your life is coming to a close, yet at the same time a new one is opening.
Over the next few months, as you get ready for college or move into full-time work, it can be hard trying to find your place. It can almost feel like you are stuck between two worlds. It can be a tough few months trying to find your place, but one thing doesn’t change: your place at Ground Zero.
No matter where you go or what you do, Ground Zero will always be your home. I know many youth ministries ‘kick out’ those who graduate high school, but we do not. You are still a part of Ground Zero. You are still a part of everything we do.
You are still a part of GZ Varsity every Friday night. When we have Varsity Life Small Groups Sunday nights, you can still be a part of them as well. You also have the option of getting more involved on some leadership level like helping with the Jr. High small groups, leading a Varsity Life Small Group, becoming a co-leader during Project Rake and more… If you would like to begin to take more of a leadership role, just let me know. Either way, Ground Zero is still your home.
Starting Sunday, June 10th, you can also become involved in our Young Adult group. Our Young Adult group meets ever Sunday night from 6:00p-9:00p at the Youth House. We meet for really great food, a time of fellowship, and a Bible study that is relevant to your age group. We always have a really great time. I want to encourage you to come out!
You are constantly in my prayer. If you need anything at all, just let me know.
/s/ Pastor Mike
I’m sure that thousands of letters like this one are sent each year. This one just seemed like a very good example of how an effective youth ministry can be a continuing blessing in the lives of our graduates. May God help us all to strive for the same.
— Bill Williams