Ridgewood's youth ministry programs have an intergenerational emphasis which means that we try to encourage interaction between people from different generations as much as we can. A few weeks ago, I noticed that Ridgewood's MMORE team was eating dinner on Sunday nights at the exact same time that Flame was eating dinner together in a different part of the church. I floated the idea to MMORE that maybe we could join together for an evening and they thought that it sounded great.
Our time together went great! We had planned to spend 30 minutes eating together, but this turned into an hour of conversation, laughter and getting to know each other better. Both groups agreed that we definitely needed to do it again!
You can see pictures of our time together below followed by a summary of our youth group lesson for the night.
After our time with MMORE, Flame headed back to the youth room, where I led the group through a lesson on Perserverance.
I asked the group to share some goals they have for their life. Some examples included: graduating from college, becoming a doctor, traveling the world and getting married.
Next, I asked them what it took to acheive these goals. Their answers included: Hard work, passion, drive, practice, good luck, knowledge and prayer.
Those were all good answers, but there was one word missing from the list that not many people associate with acheiving our goals: dependence. It is not natrual for us to think of dependence when we think of accomplishing our goals. In fact, we often think of dependence as a weakness and something that can get in the way of accomplishing our goals.
We took a look at some Scripture passages which showed that the theme of dependence on God and on other people is woven throughout scripture. These included 2 Corinthians 12:5-10 (Christ's power is made perfect in our weaknesses), Hebrews 12:1-3 (we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses in our faith), Matthew 6:25-34 (Don't worry because God will provide for you) and a few Proverbs including Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding).
This is a message that is not an easy "sell" for most people in our culture where we idolize people who are "self-made". But a mature Christian is someone who knows that they can depend on God and depend on other Christians to help them face the obstacles that life presents.