Mr. Brownstone and I are involved with a youth group for tweens at our church. The church leadership recognized that class-size seemed to be shrinking in this particular age group because they had really outgrown the activities that are in place for the younger kids, but they were not really old enough to be part of the Junior High youth group ~ they were just left floundering somewhere in the middle.
After some deliberation, Club 56 was born. It's a brand new program, and we are so blessed and honored to have been asked to be a part of its conception. In addition, we are so very fortunate to be teaching with three other couples that are part of our closest group of friends. As a result of our friendship, we have gotten to spend a significant amount of time discussing this youth group and the direction we would like to take it.
Some of our goals for the group include:
- classroom growth
- increased excitement and actual involvement in Bible classes
- Spiritual growth
- learning new praise and worship songs
- daily prayer
- social development among church peers through class get-togethers
- to be good examples at home, church, public places, and school
- service projects
- to increase awareness of the world around us
Our first stop was a plaza. We learned some of the history and contributions of the community, and we also learned that the plaza was the first completed project in the renovation of the neighborhood. On this stop, we prayed for the development of the community. We prayed that necessary funds would be provided, for good weather when projects were under construction, for support from extended community leaders, for involvement of the community, and many other things.
I'm not asking for an audible (or visual in the case of a blog) answer, but I ask you:
- How often do you take for granted the opportunities and the businesses you have in your community?
Again, I'm not asking for an audible (or visual) answer, but I ask you:
- When was the last time you could not take your kids to the park in your community because it was not safe?
- When was the last time you saw a "No Criminal Activity Allowed" sign posted on a home in your neighborhood?
And now I'm not asking for an audible (or visual) answer, but I ask you:
- When was the last time you were not content with your home?
- When was the last time you complained about having to prepare dinner?
- When was the last time you had to wait in line for five or more hours to receive a meal and have a mattress on which to sleep?
After our discussion, some of the kids wanted to know more about how they could help the children of the community. They determined that first and foremost, they could continue to pray. They also wanted to know, though, if they could donate books. Some wanted to know if they could come down during the week and help with the after-school program. Many of them verbalized their own blessings. They recognized how we often have such an overabundance of things that we take what we have for granted and do not appreciate all of our blessings. The day was a great lesson in thankfulness and contentment.
Finally, I ask you, and please feel free to participate by commenting:
We have so many things. The people we saw at the homeless shelter today had literally only the clothes on their backs and anything they could carry in a sack or two. Let's recognize our blessings even down to the most trivial ones...
- What is something that you could do without?
If you are a praying person, I ask that you pray for the people that we saw today and that you pray for the things we prayed for in our drive-by of this community.