Written by Chris Nichols, Young Life staff with Club Beyond (Young Life military) in England.
At our weekly small group Bible study tonight with both the middle and high school kids, we gave out a survey about “me and what I believe” to the ten kids who came. We then sat around and discussed it.
Here are some quick outtakes from what we heard tonight:
- “I wish I knew how to pray better.”
- “I have no idea how to read the Bible on my own.”
- “I don’t think Jesus would like me if he were here right now.”
- “The stuff Jesus said just doesn’t make sense”
- “I wish I felt free”…
On one hand, I was encouraged because it gave us a lot of exciting topics and teaching to cover in the weeks and months ahead. On the other hand, it was discouraging, if even overwhelming. Why?
Because the kids we met with tonight are NOT the “furthest out” kids that we’re trying to reach; they would be considered the “church youth group kids.” These are the kids who profess Christ, come to chapel (at least occasionally), come to Bible study, and by all others would be labeled the “good kids.”But these kids have almost no idea what they really believe or how to live it out.
What about all the other kids?
Tonight I was reminded of the importance of standing our ground here at Alconbury. I was reminded why we are being a light. I was reminded why we are shining the truth of the Gospel in a dark place. Why?
Because no one else is doing it. No one else is pursuing these kids. No one else is pointing them to Jesus. There are no other church youth groups or Christian ministries at our base. Club Beyond is it. So we need to be here, and we need to be “all in” to reach out to and disciple the kids here.
God used this tonight to remind me of our calling here and why this ministry is important. Because right now, it’s not easy. Doing this ministry while working a second job and having a family would not be considered the “best” or “most efficient” way of investing in teens. Spending so much time and effort at a base where there are only 250 middle and high school teens would not be considered “cost effective.”
But it is so important in this season to stand our ground. The kids at Alconbury need to hear about Jesus, need to be discipled, and need to know of God’s unconditional love for them. They can have hope, identity, purpose, security, and life through Him.