I’m driving down to Henrietta, Texas this Sunday afternoon for an area youth rally thing — they call it “Sunday Night Live! — at the Henrietta Church of Christ. I don’t know anybody at the Henrietta Church of Christ other than two really good, really old friends.
Brad Yurcho and I played football together at Dallas Christian High School. And we both wanted Brad Sham’s job calling Cowboys games on KRLD. Yurcho and I would sometimes sit on the very top row of the bleachers at DC during Junior High and, later, JV football games and do the play-by-play. Out loud. To each other. With each other. Seems strange now. But we both thought we were pretty good and, someday, would make a pretty good broadcast team.
Scott Williams and I were Delta brothers at Oklahoma Christian. We made road trips together. We cruised the streets of Edmond together. We went shopping for pumpkins together during the holidays. We went on disciplinary probation together at OC. Ah, yes; great times.
Scott and Brad and their families are in Henrietta now, good friends themselves, working with the young people there, teaching and mentoring and passing on the faith to those coming up after us. It’s really quite special. I hadn’t seen Scott in years when he walked up to me a couple of months ago here at Central, just minutes before our Sunday morning assembly was to begin. I remember thinking, “Man, if he’s come to confess sin, we’re going to be here a while.” What a terrific surprise! Brad called me the very next morning and made the invitation to speak at their church official. And I’m really looking forward to Sunday.
I love speaking to young people. I love being with teenagers. When you’re in a room full of teens, you’re surrounded by unlimited potential. The possibilities are countless. It’s unimaginable all the wonderful things these young men and women are going to do in God’s Kingdom. They’re all so talented and passionate, so full of life and energy, so emotional and “all-in” to whatever they’re doing.
And they all love to learn brand new things. They want to be taught. They want to be shown something they’ve never seen before. They want to know something new. They all want to experiment. They want to push the envelope. They’re bold. They want to do something for Christ that’s never been done before. They want to be a real part of something bigger than themselves. They don’t have a whole lot of patience for doing church; they want to be church. And I love that.
And most of us say, yeah, that’s just the way young people are. They’re teenagers. They won’t always be that way. They’ll grow out of it.
Most of us say that because most of us have grown out of it.
And that’s a shame.
Scripture says, inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. We’re being refreshed by God’s Holy Spirit. We’re being revived every day, re-energized, re-booted, re-newed day by day. That means we’re all in the youth group! Yes, you! You’re in the youth group at your church. Everybody’s in the youth group!
Isn’t that fantastic news? All of us are being made younger and fresher and newer every day. All of us should be acting like our teenagers. I should be more bold and imaginative. You should be more passionate and hungry for new truths about our Lord and his plans for your life. We all should be pushing the envelope when it comes to sacrificial service in the name and manner of Jesus. We all should be so brakes-off, no-looking-back, full-steam-ahead in our discipleship to our Christ. We should sing louder, laugh harder, dance wilder, love more, try different; we should stop hesitating, stop flinching, stop negotiating, stop settling. Our young people are on to something!
Jesus says you’ve got to be a little kid to inherit his Kingdom.
You’re being renewed every day. By God’s grace and the transforming power of his Spirit, you’re getting younger, not older! You’re in the youth group.
So go get a two-liter of Mountain Dew and a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. I’ll see you at the lock-in!