Wednesday Night Live – extended (3/12)
After a week off and a last-minute teaching series change (we were going to spend the month talking about The Kingdom of God, but I was having too much trouble writing it in a way that would connect with the 7th graders and the 12th graders without cheating one out of the experience. And we’re not quite to the point where we can separate the senior and junior high… but soon), I was back in the teaching saddle tonight. And it was another interesting evening.
For starters, tonight I used Relient K’s song Forgiven and passages from Romans (3.9-12 and 23-24), Matthew (5.21-22 and 27-30), and Psalms (103.8-13) to discuss the ideas of our own sinfulness, our penchant for sinning within our mind without acting upon it, and the forgiveness that we receive from God. The message was solid. Something we all need to be reminded of on a regular basis. But something was off.
At times it was like pulling teeth to get any input from our teens. 20 people in the room (a few were adult leaders) and almost no one had anything to say. There was some good discussion but there were two hindrances tonight. One is that the song is poetry, and not a straightforward “God we love you so thank you” type of song, and a lot of our teens are not used to thinking through songs like this. But perhaps even more distracting is that all of our teens are preoccupied with their drama, stress, issues and pain that is in their lives during the rest of the week. They had a lot of problems detaching from that, and tonight we just weren’t set up to offer what they might have needed more tonight.
But we will next week. Small group (no more than 4 teens) by grade and gender. Music that encourages sharing. A message of why we endure hard times. Prayer. Praise. Lament. Perhaps a foot washing. And prayerfully, hopefully, an opportunity for some healing. Fitting during Holy Week, I think.