Last Friday night, the youth ministry kicked off its summer with an “Out of School Lock-In”. Approximately forty-five teens came to Fairlane to spend a night filled with games, three-on-three basketball, dodgeball, painting, video games, pizza and other snacks and a midnight devo at the firepit. Joining these teens was a courageous group of adults who spent the night interacting with the teens, playing games with them and enjoying worship with them as well. It was a truly fun, blessed night as we all came together to enjoy the night together.
In today’s culture, teens and young adults tend to get a bad rap. They are often viewed as technology obsessed. Sometimes they are called apathetic and lazy. They have been labeled as entitled, coddled and disrespectful. These negative labels have attached themselves to their generation and colored opinions of them. Many fear for the future of our country and society because of perceived weaknesses of the younger generations.
I want to assure you that these labels do not fit the vast majority of the younger generation today, and they certainly don’t apply to the young men and women that I interacted with at the lock-in. These young adults were respectful, obedient, fun-loving, kind, and concerned about others. (Except when they were playing dodgeball!) They were well mannered and only wanted to have a good time with their friends. They sang praises to God as the flames in the firepit flickered. Their praise to God was sweet and a blessing to hear. This group loves God, wants to please Him, and genuinely cares about other people.
Of course, none of these teens are perfect. None of us are. They make mistakes. Sometimes, they act rudely and complain about doing what they don’t want to do. Grown adults often do as well. They enjoy technology and use it frequently, but they are only using the technology that they have been given by prior generations. And often the older generations are thankful that our young adults can help them with their technology! This generation also cares about others. They want to see the world around them improve. Like us, sometimes they are not sure how to go about it, but they do desire to serve and care for their neighbor. They also have a love for God that is often challenged by what they witness and hear on-line and in the media that surrounds them. Yet, they strive to hold onto their faith in a culture that tries to tear it from them with lies and falsehoods. They are seeking God in a non-seeking world.
I’m thankful for the teens we have at Fairlane and the friends that they bring with them. They are good young men and women who are a blessing to our church family. I pray for them daily. I pray God will strengthen their faith and protect them from a society that is anything but Christian. I pray that their generation will do greater things for the Kingdom than any generation that has gone before. Our Father is going to do great things through them. I hope you will join me in that prayer. Pray for them. Encourage them. Set a Godly example for them.
And next time we have a lock-in, come join us! Experience the fun of hanging out with the Fairlane teens!
Thank you to Michael for organizing such a great lock-in and to all of the adults who were there to encourage and invest their time in our teens and their friends.