We all have the one type of kid we wish we could connect into our programs.
She’s the cheerleader and bible study leader, the captain of the sports team, the influencers and role models of the youth we hope to influence. They would be the core kids and the leadership team members. Just think, if we could influence the influencers, oh the possibilities.
Sometimes they come, and sometimes, they don’t.
We can get so wrapped up in these kids we forget about the ones who do come. Who show up consistently, who feel they belong, who need a connection to Jesus and to an adult that will give a crap about them.
This story popped in my mind this morning, it’s in Luke 14:15-24
In the story, a man decides to throw a dinner party. My imagination takes me to the blowout bash of the year. The event has great party gifts, Gordon Ramsay is cooking food, Jay-Z and Beyonce are providing entertainment and there is an A list guest list.
And no one shows.
They all have something else to do, some other event, some other priority that takes their time.
When the man threw the party, he had an expectation of the type of people he wanted there, and who would come. They didn’t.
Then the invitation went you. The Misfits came. The homeless and wretched came. Those from far off came to the party.
What if you are planning events and programs for people who won’t show up? They have sports practices, school assignments, time with friends and family, and other priorities that eat at time.
What if the perspective changes? What if we send out for the Misfits and the wretched? The ones in your group who show up and need your group to connect them to Jesus, to one another and to adults who will champion for them. What if we made it a safe place for all youth to come and they don’t need to fit a certain mold or expectation we put on them.
Party with the youth who are there, celebrate with them, share your life with them, help them discover the purpose of their own life, and point them to Jesus.