I have to say how amazing our night with the Jr. High Youth was last night! We wanted to get their attention to start our lesson out. The topic - "The Bible". Why did we choose this topic? Because we've seen too many of the kids not give the Bible any respect. They'll throw them on the floor, throw them at each other, tear through the pages not caring if they get ripped - just complete disrespect of what The Bible actually is - the Word of God.
We got together early & planned the evening. We hid all the Bibles in the room (you'll see why in a minute) & we hid the candy that the kids get for winning games. Most importantly, we prayed asking the Holy Spirit to be in that room with us & lead the discussion & the events that would come up.
The night started off - the kids were piling in & they all had their cell phones, MP3 Players, new hats, things that were important to them. But not once did they notice the Bibles were gone. So after the game, we told the winners to go get their candy - but it was missing - where's the candy? Then we asked to take up all the cell phones & MP3 players & all the things they loved - after much arguments, they handed them over - then we told them the parents had to come get them. (Not true - but all following with the lesson) - we knew what their response would be - it got a little chaotic to say the least. These kids got angry & wanted their things that they cared about.
Finally (remember this was all STAGED) - Ryan BLEW UP! He said he was tired of these kids coming in, only caring about the candy, the socializing, the gathering just to be together, not caring about learning about God - did they even notice the Bibles were missing? It proved they weren't important to them. Now, I can't even tell you how Ryan acted - it was an Academy Award performance. He threw the candy in the floor - & even went & threw the Bibles in the garbage (which we did get a new, clean bag for this purpose) - just to see if they cared about the Bibles or the candy - then he told them to come get their players, the candy - whatever they wanted - whatever was important to them - and then he stormed out (again - staged!) The room sat silent - the kids didn't know what to think. Finally someone asked if they could get a Bible - & the kids ALL dashed to get a Bible - out of the Garbage, out of the file cabinets - they held them, sat & listened to what was coming up.
Ryan came back in & we asked the kids what was going through their minds. They were still just speechless. We finally told them the point we were making - we KNEW the Bibles wouldnt be the most important thing to them - we KNEW the things that mean "so much" to them would just kill them to be taken away. They understood our point. We were then able to go into talking about the importantance of the Bible & how we are to take it & how it is God's way of communicating to us - the Holy Spirit was truly with us, moving through the room. I've never seen the kids that attentive on a Wednesday night - even the "talkers" sat, listened, watched - & didn't talk! It was an amazing night!
The thing I love the most - these kids will never forget the "Drama" of the lesson - they'll remember next time they hold that Bible how important it is - the very Word of God wanting to talk to them - lead them to an everlasting life. Praise the Lord!