I just spent this past week with a group of OneLife Church teenagers at Lee University, in Cleveland TN. Two of whom were mine! We were attending one of CIY’s 2015 MOVE conferences. It had been a long time since I had attended or even chaperoned a CIY conference, let alone with my kids as attendees. Over the past 10 years I had been busy raising babies and planting a church since we had made the jump from youth pastors to lead pastors.
If you have ever been to a CIY conference, you know it’s incredible. The worship is amazing, the speakers are on point and the object lessons are usually pretty effective. This year was no different. The impact the week had on the teens at our church was delicious to watch. But you know, I wasn’t immune to the messages either.
The Book of Daniel
This year’s CIY theme focuses on the book of Daniel and what it must have been like to grow up a godly Jewish kid and to stand up for your beliefs while living in a culture that is completely opposite of your own. Not just opposite, but oppositional. I can’t help but see that God’s hand was all over this particular conference theme as the planners at CIY put it together over a year ago. In light of the news hitting the stands this summer involving tragic shootings and laws passing, it is clear that we need to raise kids who are “innocent as doves and wise as serpents.” Kids who can navigate the current post-Christian American society they are inheriting.
Our kids will need to know how to make wise choices for themselves, while still loving and caring for their neighbors. What will that look like as they seek to help heal the deep wounds of racism our country still bears? Or bridge the gaps of varied prejudice? Can we teach them to love like Jesus did with the woman at the well or the woman caught in adultery? They will need the gospel boiled down to this:
Mark 12:30-31 New International Version (NIV)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Jesus’ words are just as viable now as they were 2000 years ago. Isn’t that funny? Culture changes, society changes, technology changes, but these simple words of Christ remain effective and powerful even today.
Side Note: Agism
This older body of mine had a hard time keeping up with the 6:30-7AM to 12PM schedule. Turns out, I actually really need the 8 hours of sleep and personal downtime I build into my normal week. I’ve spent this week after CIY recuperating from razor blade sore throat (STREP??), hacking cough and nasty sinus infection. My doc even tested me for Mono! Did it beat me up? Yep! Was it worth it? Oh yeah! I’m really thankful to have gotten to be a part of this week with my own kids and the youth from our church.