It’s always fun to sort through old computer files.
I found two letters this week from a teen trip I led from afar years ago. My challenge at the time was that I couldn’t be in two places simultaneously, as I was a part of the leadership team organizing the convention for thousands of teens and leaders within our denomination. That meant I couldn’t be a hands-on part of getting my students to and from the event.
So I ended up writing two letters – one to the adult leaders, and another to students.
At the time, this seemed like a good idea. In hindsight I would have said some things differently and also written two other letters – one to parents to give them the information they’d want, and another to my church to ask for prayer while we were gone.
That aside, here is the first the two letters:
Dear student –
Today’s the day! I’m anticipating that this is going be an incredible weekend for you to refocus with God, as well as with other Christians your age. Quite a bit of this hinges on how open you are to Jesus, from your attitude and focus, to your willingness to hear His voice. Be sensitive to the idea that you might not yet truly know who Jesus wants to be in your life – that there’s probably more to Christianity than you realize, no matter how much or how little you know of it. My prayer for you (which I will be praying everyday) is that you simply discover… maybe even rediscover… what authentic Christianity is all about.
That’s my end of seeking God… now here’s yours.
I’m going to ask you to do things differently than many of the other students attending this weekend. As you glance around at other teens from across the country at this event, you will notice some of them there just for the guy/girl thing, or simply to blow off some steam and get away from home. I’m asking you to seek God – to have fun along the way, sure – but to make it your very passion to yearn for and stretch towards Jesus. That’s the goal… now let’s talk practicals.
I’m challenging you to do the following:
– Don’t turn on your TV in your room. It will serve as a distraction, and you can live without it. In fact, if you’re so bold, unplug it.
– Spend a few moments in your day doing nothing but talking with and listening to God. Talk with Him about your experience with the convention… perhaps about what you’ve learned (or relearned) so for.
– Have fun… but don’t let fun turn into a distraction for you or anyone else. This weekend can be a riot, so have fun! Just don’t forget why you’re here.
One last note, too – don’t go roaming in the city by yourself. If you’re in middle school, you need to be in a group of 3 with an adult at all times. If you’re in high school, you must be in a group of three with the option of an adult. (By the way – this is 3 people from our group, not someone else).
I love you guys and am so stoked to have you on this trip! I’ll see you in Chicago!
I can see at least one huge blind spot in what I wrote. Maybe there are more. I’ll see if you can spot it.
What would you write differently?
Does this serve you in anyway? (Feel free to copy-and-paste it for your next trip)
P.S. The second letter written to volunteers will post tomorrow.