So I figured that I couldn't let this perfectly good blog go to waste. For some time now I've been feeling the urging of the Spirit to share what I hear in church on such a platform. By chronicling what we learn in sermons, we can track our spiritual growth & continue the discussion beyond those four walls of the church. Too many times have I returned from a sermon refreshed, only to have the truths I heard slip past my mind after a few days. This will ensure that we remember what we hear, and prevent those seeds from being eaten by birds or falling into rocks & weeds, but instead, nurture those seeds in good soil (Luke 8:1-15)
I don't quite know how this is going to work. I intend to invite other youths to share their thoughts and opinions. The idea for this blog has been thrown around a few times by others before, but as with the youth magazine, it was all talk and no action. I claim all responsibility for the procrastination of the youth mag. But right now, I'm just going to start this with a step of faith, because I am tired of planning and planning but not carrying it out.
Anyways, last night, I went for the church's 5th Friday Prayer. Honestly, I hadn't planned to go. I had forgotten it was the 5th Friday, and instead, thought I was supposed to lead our CCF cell group that night. I arrived early at 8pm, & even though I kind of dreaded going for the 5th Friday Prayer in fear of not seeing familiar faces, God was persistent anyway. Forming all sorts of escape plans in my mind, I contemplated my options. But the janitor who had seen me sitting at the bench for the past half-hour kindly said in Mandarin "They've started already". So I went. And I'm glad I did.
I was handed a list of prayer items as I went into the main hall. The hall was half-filled, dispelling the rumours I've been hearing that the church's prayer meetings consist of only a small circle of people [which was partially why I was heavy-hearted to go. I didn't want to stick out like a sore thumb]. I quietly took a seat by the side as they were already singing some songs. Not long after, Luke came in too & sat next to me. Later, Paulynn, who was a few rows in front, saw us at the back & came to join us.
As the evening wore on, people came up to share their testimonies. A lot of them were medical-related. I remember thinking to myself, "Future doctors should come for these prayer meetings!" because those who were sick would share about their condition & the treatment they had to undergo in detail.
I will not go into detail on what we prayed for, because that is not the point I'm trying to make. While I was sitting there listening to all those who were sharing, it struck me that up till then, I had never really known my church. I knew my youth, & I felt like a part of the youth, but before that night at the prayer meeting, I had never felt like a part of my church as a whole. I realised then how unheard or unseen our youths are in the main church. In fact, I was the only "qualified" youth amongst the congregation that night [Luke, Peter & Paulynn having passed their teens already].
We youths keep to ourselves & don't make ourselves heard or seen in the main congregation, save a few occasions when it's the Youth's turn to lead worship [even then it's not always the "qualified" youths] or when it's BB Sunday. Then I think of my college friend, Keane, who attends his church's Annual General Meetings & blogs quite passionately about them. I think of Alex & Brett Harris, who, at the mere age of 17, started a whole revolution with their Rebelution site, calling on all teens to Do Hard Things. & the famous verse from 1 Timothy 4:12, "Don't letanyonelookdown on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
Some of the older youths complain that the church's leaders need to pay more attention to the youth. While I do agree that the Youth ministry could use a lil' bit of help [ie a youth pastor], what are we youths doing about it? Is the reason for this seemingly lack of priority due to our own apathy towards our church? Not apathy towards our Youth, because I don't think that's quite the problem, but apathy towards the main church. Do we only limit ourselves to ministries or activities that are directly related to the Youth ministry? Isn't it time we rise up & tell the rest of the church that we youths are capable of doing so much more than what others give us credit for?
It's time to rise up to the challenge, it's time we claimed our church as our own. Because God works beyond race, gender, character, sin, & most definitely, beyond age.
& as I sat there in the main hall, I laughed at myself for having been so reluctant to come in, & smiled because I knew that with Jesus, I had overcome Satan's temptation.