Forty-Six Point Eight
There are a lot of numbers that can be shared to tell the story of our youth gatherings.
How many pounds of ground beef and spaghetti were cooked for dinner tonight? 6 and 4, respectively.
How many students were in attendance? 24.
How many participated in the impossible shot? 4.
What verses were discussed in our teaching? Genesis 1:27 and Colossians 3:1-17.
How many adult volunteers came to help? 2! (thanks August C. for dinner and Kaw for set-up help!)
How many students dressed up for the theme night? 1.
How many stick-on mustaches did I buy in preparation of the Disguise theme? 48
How many stick-on mustaches do I still have because I forgot to get them to students to wear, therefore missing an excellent photo opportunity? 48
There is one number that sticks with me the most. How many miles did we travel to pick-up/drop-off students tonight? 46.8
We are blessed with the use of the church van to bring students together each week. This year we are hearing from more students who are in need of ride in order to be with us on Wednesday nights. These are a mix of those who have been a part of the community in the past as well as friends of students who live just outside our immediate area coming for the first time. To try to get students here tonight by 6:00pm, we started picking them up around 4:45 using both a personal vehicle as well as multiple trips in the van.
All of this so 24 kids can hear that there is nothing they can say or do or think to separate themselves from bearing the image of God and because of that, they are capable of being loved and sharing that love with others.
I do not presume to think that any specific teaching, discussion, lesson, or study that we do will in and of itself have a profound impact on a students life. But I do hope, that as we gather each week, students will be reminded of God's great love for them. That over time their identity will be grounded in that love and their lives will reflect it out into the world.
That is why we do all that we can to remove barriers for students to be here. That's why we drive 46.8 miles round trip. That's why we create areas where homework can be done if needed. That is why we are constantly inviting students and adults to join this community each week. That is why we sit together and eat a meal while having seemingly ridiculous conversations.
It is through it all that God speaks, and I am thankful to be able to play a small part in telling the story.