Below is a letter I sent to my high school guys. Feel free to copy and paste any parts of it that might be helpful for you to send to your Campaigners groups.
Also, for any fans of “The Office,” feel free to download this pic to the right. It’s my favorite Zoom virtual background.
Fun to video chat with y’all last night. I know many of you are tired of this quarantine and feel super bored at home and so, after talking to you last night, I thought it might be helpful if I sent you some ideas for how to spend these corona-days.
In Matthew 22:36-39, the Pharisees ask Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replies, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Love God and love others. That’s what we were made to do.
So how we can spend these days at home loving God and loving others?
I know it feels tough to get motivated to do anything other than sleep, video games, social media and Netflix, but most of those activities are pretty self-focused and actually don’t leave us feeling filled up or like we’re living the abundant life that Christ offers.
When you read the list below, at first you’ll probably feel resistance and not a lot of desire to actually do any of them. That’s normal. I’d just encourage you to pick one thing off the list that feels most doable, and just do that one. Just take a step. A lot of times when I don’t feel like going for a jog, if I can just motivate myself to lace up my running shoes, that can get the ball rolling enough to get me to take the next step out the door.
It also helps to have some encouragement. I always run faster when I’m running with someone than when I’m running alone. I want to be in this with you, and I want us to be in it together, so if you do something on the list below, let us all know! Let’s celebrate one another.
15 Ways to Love God and Others – While Stuck at Home
Mail an encouraging note to:
- A grandparent
- A medical professional serving during this time
- Someone who lives alone
- A teacher
- If you don’t know what to write, just write a short note saying “Just wanted you to know that I was thinking of you and thankful for you. Here’s a verse of scripture to encourage you….”
Reach out to one of those same people that you’d write a letter to. Call or FaceTime.
Take a bike ride and listen to worship music, here’s a good playlist.
Ask one of your parents or siblings to take a walk with you and pray for your neighbors as you walk by their homes.
Make dinner for your fam. Look up some recipes online. Ask for help. This is a fun way to kill a few hours, a helpful life-skill, and ladies can’t resist a man who can cook!
Lead a family game night. You could do it privately at home or stream it to the world. You could go all out and dress up like a skit character and play the game on Instagram Live or Facebook Live. Or go old school and have a 3-hour Monopoly battle.
Lead a family prayer night. Download the Book of Common Prayer and do the Family Prayer Service on p. 67. It’ll take 15 mins and be a peaceful way to end your day.
Gather your best family pics/videos edit a fun family video together and surprise your family with it.
Set a goal to read the Bible for 10-15 minutes every day. The book of Mark takes only 75 minutes to read. You could read the whole book of Mark in less than a week!
Make a TikTok video with your family.
Draw, paint, write a song, write a poem (and maybe include your art in a letter that you send to a grandparent, like you did when you were younger)
Give yourself limits on screen time- figure out a reasonable amount of time to be on video games, social media, Netflix, etc… Keep track of how much time you spend on screens tomorrow and see if you can set a goal of doing 25% less the next day and 50% less the next day. Talk with your parents about this number of hours and ask them to help you.
Be wise in what you watch. Guard your eyes and your heart. When you’re bored, it’s easy to fall into temptation and to justify watching things that you know aren’t helping you love God and others. If you’re struggling with that, reach out to me and I’d love to help you think through ways to get healthier in that area.
Make a general schedule for your days and stick to it.
First, decide what time you want to go to bed and what time you want to wake up. If you don’t set boundaries here, it’s easy to stay up until 3am and sleep until 3pm, but that actually isn’t the best schedule for you. Try to spend as much of the daylight awake and you’ll notice it significantly impacting your mood.
Schedule in time to do healthy things like: exercise, pray, read scripture, call/Facetime friends and relatives, do hobbies like music, art, etc…
A general schedule might look like:
9am- wake up, begin your day with a 1-sentence prayer, kneeling by your bed, then eat breakfast
11am- Online school for an hour
12pm- break for lunch and pray/read scripture for 15 mins
1pm- Online school or hobbies (like learning to play the uke)
4pm- Help your mom cook dinner
6pm- Dinner conversation with your family, help with dishes
8pm- Call/Facetime friends/relatives
9pm- social media/video games/watch tv (2-hour max)
11pm- read a book or listen to worship music
11:30pm- end your day with a 1-sentence prayer, kneeling by your bed and then lights out
- Ask for accountability from a parent.
- Try that schedule for a day and see how your mood feels vs how it feels when you sleep late and stay up late.
I love you guys and I’m praying for you during this time. I’m praying that you would know God’s nearness and His delight in you.
“The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He takes great delight in you. He rejoices over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17
Written by Drew Hill.
Drew is married to Natalie and they have three children: Honey, Hutch, and Macy Heart. They live in Greensboro, NC where Drew is a pastor.
If you’ve not yet read or listened to “Alongside: Loving Teenagers with the Gospel,” a book Drew wrote for Young Life leaders, you can pick it up at the links below.
There’s never a better time to read or listen to audiobooks than when you’re stuck in quarantine!