High School Seniors' Thoughts on Church

8/31/2015

Youth, ACCESS

Rich Rindfuss

A couple of weekends ago, I joined 7th-12th graders from our church for an end-of-summer retreat called Really Living. On Saturday night in a planned but unscripted moment sitting under the stars, high school seniors told the younger teens what church has meant to them.

Two themes recurred. First, most of the seniors spoke about how church and specifically the youth group had been such a good group of friends. They described a place where people accepted and welcomed them, and they emphasized how they didn’t have to change themselves to fit in. Second, almost all of them said they regretted that they hadn’t shown up more.

I wish I could have told them that as they age, they’ll continue to find such a welcoming atmosphere at church and that showing up will get easier. But showing up to be part of a church community takes discipline, and it always will. Keeping the welcoming spirit of a church alive takes discipline too. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Disciplined effort – hard as it is – helps us show up for church and maintain a welcoming spirit there, so that we and others can experience the blessings of church.

See you Sunday!

Rich

PS - You can take a look at a few photos from the weekend below, and you can see a whole gallery of them here!

 

 

A couple of weekends ago, I joined 7th-12th graders from our church for an end-of-summer retreat called Really Living. On Saturday night in a planned but unscripted moment sitting under the stars, high school seniors told the younger teens what church has meant to them.

Two themes recurred. First, most of the seniors spoke about how church and specifically the youth group had been such a good group of friends. They described a place where people accepted and welcomed them, and they emphasized how they didn’t have to change themselves to fit in. Second, almost all of them said they regretted that they hadn’t shown up more.

I wish I could have told them that as they age, they’ll continue to find such a welcoming atmosphere at church and that showing up will get easier. But showing up to be part of a church community takes discipline, and it always will. Keeping the welcoming spirit of a church alive takes discipline too. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Disciplined effort – hard as it is – helps us show up for church and maintain a welcoming spirit there, so that we and others can experience the blessings of church.

See you Sunday!

Rich

PS - You can take a look at a few photos from the weekend below, and you can see a whole gallery of them here!