I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. I just finished hanging out with you guys at 180, and I wish I could say the night was awesome. For the last few months, we’ve been blessed to have more and more students attend 180, but something has drastically changed. The more students we have, the less respectful you become. I’m not sure if the increase in students makes you feel like you need to act out to get our attention, or if this long winter is just getting to you, but you have been acting crazy.
You come to homework help with no homework, and you get mad if we don’t let you in. When we give you work to do, you ignore us, and carry on like our rules don’t matter. Small groups can be rough. Many of you don’t come each week for the Bible study, you come for your friends. I understand that. I even understand that you’ve been in school all day, and may not be interested in sitting for 30 more minutes. I completely understand that you love your friends and want to hang out. What I don’t understand is the lack of respect.
When I ask you not to swear, you swear more.
When I ask you to listen, you talk louder.
When you ask me a question, you ignore what I have to say.
When I remind you of the rules, you tell me you don’t care.
Here’s the thing… I actually care about you. If I didn’t, I can honestly tell you I would have handed you off to someone else months ago. You drive me crazy, but I see the potential in you. You are leaders at 180, but you lead kids to make bad choices.
Let me tell you a secret. You act macho, tough, and arrogant in our small group, but one-on-one, I’ve seen your true personalities show up. I’ve seen boys who love God, and want to figure out how to follow him. I’ve seen boys who are trying to figure out how to be young men, and want to become great men. I’ve seen boys who are curious about the Bible, and want to figure out what it means for their lives. I’ve seen boys who are really scared about life, and are willing to talk about it.
So here’s what I’m thinking… lets put aside the street cred for a moment and start having honest conversations. When we meet in small group, lets try to talk about things that matter, and face our fears head on. When we see each other at homework help, or meal time, don’t act like you don’t care. You could be the group of students that helps lead the younger ones to make excellent choices, and more importantly, you could lead them to follow Jesus.
I’m setting the bar high for you, and I’m asking you to reach.
Stop pretending you hate to sing, because I’ve seen you all sing when no one is looking.
Stop pretending you don’t like Jesus, because the conversations we’ve had prove otherwise.
Let your friends see the real you.
Lead the younger kids to do well in school, and help lead their small groups.
Be a role model during free time.
Work hard in school. C’s and D’s aren’t going to make it in life. You need to know the stuff your teachers are giving you.
Follow Jesus, pray more, read your Bible, and ask great questions.
I’m setting the bar high for you, and I will help you reach it.
When you break the rules, I will follow through with punishment.
When you are out of control, I will bring you home.
When you sing, I will sing with you.
When you work hard at school, I will celebrate your victories.
When you are ready to follow Jesus, I will be there to help you follow well.
When you have a bad day, I will always be there to listen.
I love and put up with you, because Jesus loves and puts up with me. I hope and pray that you will see the love of Jesus and learn to love him more every day.