Monday, March 18, 2013

My Favorite Memories from My Youth Group

As a youth pastor, my desire is for the students entrusted to me to have memories that last forever, much like I have of my youth group. When I was growing up, I attended Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, VA, and we had the best youth group possible. Yes, we fought and had tension, but we loved each other. In fact, I still keep in touch with many of my youth group friends to this day. Here are some of my favorite youth group memories.
  • Planning my first all-nighter at the church. We were raising money for the youth group to buy food for a rescue mission, so we called it the 16-Hour Starve or something like that.
  • Our youth group trip to Richmond. Our youth group did a lot of singing, puppets, and acting, so we did what we called a "tour." Our first trip was a weekend trip to the Richmond, VA area, where we visited a couple of churches and went to Kings Dominion.
  • Adam and the stink bombs. On our trip to Kings Dominion, my friend Adam had a fanny pack of stink bombs. As he was getting on a roller coaster, the lap belt came down and shattered several of the stink bombs, causing quite a smell.
  • The youth conference at Trinity Baptist College. Our youth pastor took me, his daughter, my friend Branden, and another girl to visit his college and to participate in a youth conference. This was the trip that I felt God calling me to preach.
  • Branden falling in the mud. It rains a lot in Florida and our van got stuck in the mud one night at the conference. Branden and I both got out to push the van. When the van started to move, I took a step forward. Branden did not and ended up face first in the mud.
  • Our youth group trip to New York. This was a long trip and a lot of things happened on the trip. Most of the time, after we performed our play or songs, our youth pastor would preach and give an invitation. On our last night, there was no time for him to preach, so we only did the play. A woman received Christ that night. It was awesome.
  • Our week of camp in Tennessee. Three things stand out from this week. First, my friend Tim accepted Christ. Second, this kid did not take a shower the entire week. It wasn't so bad until he fell in the muddy water. Finally, a guy named Larry told us all about his war stories from Vietnam...including the time he did a belly flop on the concrete floor. Then he did one. It looked like it hurt.

There are so many other memories I could share. However, the most important memory I have is of preaching my first sermon. I don't remember the text or anything about it. I remember that it was "Preacher Boy Night" and there were three of us who got to preach: Kevin, Branden, and me. And here's the cool part: Kevin is a pastor, Branden is a pastor, and I am a pastor (well, I will be one again when a church calls me).

What are your favorite memories of your youth group?

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