The Emerging Leaders Level 2 track at Senior High Weekend each year engages students in Scripture, active learning and creative experiences which enable them to recognize the uniqueness and giftedness of their personality. This, combined with their understanding of spiritual gifts (from Level 1), provides insight and specific direction for God's calling in their life. All of this happened this year at Eagle Eyrie.
But something unexpected also happened. In the middle of one of the sessions the leader became aware of a common thread from all 13 youth who represented several different churches from various locations across the state. All of these confident, spiritually grounded, growing Christian students were frustrated! They were all frustrated with their youth groups. For various reasons most members of their youth group were not embracing the spiritual gifts God had given them. The youth groups were struggling. These student leaders appreciated the opportunity to share with each other and be challenged in their sessions at Senior High Weekend. But they were frustrated at the thought they were not able to interact with students in this manner in their own youth groups.
The group detoured from the set agenda long enough to discuss why members of their youth groups were not seeking to be the students God gifted them to be. The following list was the result of their brainstorming:
• Lack of Confidence
• Forced to be at church
• Stuck in comfort zone
One of the commitments these students made to God, themselves and each other was to return to their youth groups and allow God to work through them in addressing these barriers. Some made commitments to speak to their youth ministers about ideas for overcoming apathy within their youth group. Others seemed to have a new gleam in their eye at the thought God would really use them to make a significant difference in their youth group.
A handful of churches across our state are fortunate enough to have these students back in their youth group. They are looking for opportunities to help their fellow youth members step out of their comfort zones, face their fears and find a deeper purpose for the weekend event other than meeting the right guy or staying up all night at the lock-in.
If you did not have a youth from your group participate in this year's Emerging Leaders track, you can still benefit from their experience. Pull some of your leaders together and ask them what keeps your students from being who God wants them to be and then brainstorm together how you can address these issues. Not only will you have a specific direction with vision and purpose, but it will be a direction in which your students are invested! Equip your students to be the leaders God has called them to be and watch what God can do!
Finally, invite your student leaders to be a part of the Emerging Leaders tracks offered at Senior High Weekend every year. Contact Ken Dibble at [email protected] or at 800-255-2428, ext. 2255.