A few posts ago I talked about the need for our youth group to have a mission statement for which to give purpose to what we are doing as a group and also to funnel our decisions through to see if we are being true to our values and goals. Well this past Sunday served as a impromptu session on discussing some of the questions that would help me write a mission statement.
I was planning on continuing the Lord of the Rings curriculum, but I was missing one of my youth sponsors to a vacation (a much needed vacation). My other sponsor had to drive her son back to college that afternoon. So it was just the kids and I. I decided to scrap the plan for the day and do something else. We just talked in our fellowship hall and spent time together. It was mostly uninhibited conversation, but I eventually got the idea to ask a couple of those questions which would help guide the mission statement writing process: Why do we have a youth group? what do we want to accomplish? I figured these were two good places to start thinking. I’m coming back with a report of what my youth answered those questions with.
Why do we have a youth group? To learn more about God, to become better people, to grow better minds, to help the world, to spread the Word of God, people, to practice Jesus’ teachings, and to help make choices.
These answers are pretty much all encompassing, but it gives me some pride to know that these youth care about things such as learning about God, wanting to grow their mind, and wanting to practice Jesus’ teachings. Let’s move on to the next question.
What are we trying to accomplish? The two answers that they came up with, I came up with one myself, are: prove to the world youth aren’t bad & “Don’t know, yet…we are trying to accomplish something.”
I have mixed feelings about this. While I am moved that the youth are wanting to accomplish something, I am sad that they can’t put it into words. Maybe that is a reflection on me, maybe not. But it is encouraging to know that they want to have a goal, even if they don’t know what it is quite yet. Another reaction is to the first answer the youth gave. I find it discouraging that the youth feel that the wider community, not just Azle Christian Church, believes that the youth of today are “bad.” I for one never responded well to someone telling me thing such as “You are wrong,” “Your behavior is deplorable,” or even “You are just bad (though I don’t think this one was ever said to me).” I doubt if I will ever, seriously, say these things to people I am trying to teach. There are nicer ways of relaying the information that you are unhappy with people’s actions than calling a person bad.
That being said, I will do like the idea of having a youth group that gives people hope for the future of the world. If that were to happen, then I’d say that I did at least an okay job (but it would probably be more likely that the youths were just awesome).