>Teaching Authenticity

>Tonight I began a new adventure in my life–youth. My husband and I are seeking to get involved at our new church and we both felt a nudge toward the youth ministry. Now I remember youth…I also remember being a teenager. Both images are interesting to say the least and I hope that I can become a positive example for these kids.

To start off in the deep-in, I was with the middle school girls tonight. I do admit I have forgotten how easily distracted girls get at this age. While discussing defending the validity of Jesus (what would you say if someone told you Jesus was a myth kind of thought line), I heard about being locked out by siblings, something about Big Foot, and the funeral of a dragonfly. They are amazing young ladies but I am going to need a little readjustment in my phrasing so they will be able to relate to me and vise versa.


More than anything else, I felt a tug on my heart when one of the girls said that saying God loves you to someone at school would just be cheesy (or dorky or something along those lines). She wasn’t talking about denying her faith, just speaking out bluntly when someone says otherwise. I remember that age. You see, it is the age of popularity meets authenticity. In short, it is better to be popular and get through than to stand out and collect ridicule. It’s beyond hard and I think why it struck me is because it is something that I am learning to do better each and every day.


When I was younger I was obnoxious about most everything and acted differently at school that I did at youth group. As I got older, I was still obnoxious at times but the differences began to shift slowly. It has taken getting through college to really be the same at church, in the classroom, on the street, and at home. True authenticity. I have finally reached a point where I don’t want to “turn people off” from the Truth by being a Bible basher, but I do want to be true to Jesus no matter what the circumstances are. I won’t yell in your face that you are going to hell, but if the subject is broached and it comes to that very definite point, I will not shy away from letting you know the penalty of sin is death and that without Jesus to bridge that gap-hell is the ultimate destination. But how do you express that to 11-14 year-olds?


I just pray God guides me on this trip.

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