By James Lee
When you look at a picture of the youth group, you won’t recognize many students. And that’s EXACTLY how I want it!
I don’t mean to say that your unfamiliarity should be born from a place of nominal interaction with youth. Rather, your unfamiliarity with students should be from “Linked In Growth.”
In the online social platform “Linked In,” the program categorizes connections via “degrees.” The first degree would be a direct relationship (Matt knows Susie). The second degree would be an indirect relationship (Matt knows Susie who knows John). The third degree would be a more indirect relationship (Matt knows Susie who knows John who knows Amy). To Matt, Amy would be a third degree relationship.
The youth group has been experiencing FIFTH DEGREE growth! It’s the sort of growth that is healthy. Students are bringing friends. Those friends are bringing friends! It’s the sort of growth that makes you look at a picture and say, “I don’t recognize them.” It’s the sort of growth that causes new growth in different areas of the church.
Last Sunday, a youth student brought her family to church. Yes, you read that right! It was the youth that brought her parents, not the other way around. This family caused growth in other ministries. The Children’s ministry can grow by one. The youth group grew by two and the adult congregation grew by 2.
“Linked In Growth” doesn’t come from programmatic success. This sort of growth comes from an attraction to the sizzling bright light of Christ. He brings us near. We simply do our best to be a community that keeps Him at the core.
So praise God for this growth, and to Him go all the glory!