The school year ended about a month ago, which means our high school ministry has a new fledgling crop of high school graduates. Some are planning to leave at the end of the summer to go away to school, some are trying to figure out how to stay home/local but still transition to the next stage, and all seem to be in this odd stage of waiting for a shift. Bad news, guys. There’s no magic shift. On the first day that you’re in your new environment, you’re going to suddenly realize that awkward truth all of us realize when we’re in a wildly different setting with different expectations on us: we’re not ready. We’re mostly hoping to fake it until we either make it, or realize that we’re shooting for the wrong goals. (making it seems to be relative. In some cases, making it just seems to be making it one more day.)
That’s the scary news. The good news, sort of, is that God’s equipped you with lots of us who can relate. Our church is now spinning up a college ministry. We’re counting as an extension of our youth ministry, as there are some sort of statistics out there that say folks are still not yet adult until they’re in their mid twenties nowadays. I dunno about that. I can say it feels odd to be talking to these young ladies and gentlemen, and thinking back to life experiences I had at 18 or 19, that I was dating my to-be husband at 21… I look at one of the young couples in our youth group, at their plans to stay local for college for two years and then move onto their next stages of life together – at first you think – ain’t going to happen (statistically speaking), and then I think – but maybe I’m looking at a set of high school sweethearts who’re going to make it.
We’re still figuring out exactly how the ministry will work. The neat thing is that these guys are an engaging group of “kids”, who are really excited to help form their own community focused on the gospel. The adult leadership team has high hopes of helping these guys set their own expectations of what it means to engage with and through the church, such that we help them set mindsets and patterns that will cause them to help push the church to even more of a gospel community focused culture. Too many of our adults come to church on Sunday as individuals, hear a sermon, worship as individuals, and then leave to go back to their individual lives. We hope that by helping these kids feed their own hunger for something more, we in the end help spread that hunger through the church – both our own and whatever venues these guys may move to as God directs them to new geographies in their lives.
Pray for opportunities, for vision, and for excitement tied to God’s priorities. And, uh, pray that on the 16th (our first meeting) we’ll have at least a few folks there…