Monday night. 7:27pm. be there!
This above phrase is often my facebook status when Monday rolls around, or at least something to that effect. Monday evenings are when we have “club” for Young Life. This is the big night of the week when we invite high schoolers to come hang out and have a blast. I could go on about how cool club is and ultimately how awesome this ministry is, but I’m going to try to stick to the story. However, if you have questions and want to know more about Young Life, please do-ask me :)
This Monday night was scheduled to be an event we like to call, “Skit Club.” What that means is that instead of our regular schedule, we (and by we I mean leaders and kids but mostly kids!) put together a night a hilarious skits to perform before the message is given.
A good while ago, oh I’d say over a month, our team had a meeting. When skit night came up, I was all over it. I really wanted an opportunity to step up as a leader, to plan this night like never before, and to make it a great time for kids and leaders. However, the Tuesday before skit night came like a thief in the night. All of a sudden, through the mist of dead week, then finals - wrapping up the school year, skit night was here! Our “head leader” met with me to discuss the approaching club and all I had to offer was a skeleton idea of what I wanted the night to look like.
That evening we talked details for how to get kids involved, when we would have them practice and brainstormed ideas for skits. And I left determined to take what I had and run with it. All kinds of ideas had been floating around in my mind for weeks but now was the time to put it all on paper and execute.
My first task was to have skits picked out for kids to sign up the very next morning when we would meet for Bible study, we like to call it “campaigners.” So I stayed up late that evening searching for skits, watching videos, gathering ideas, typing up a schedule, figuring our how many kids we needed, and preparing myself for the early morning scrabble that would take place as we asked kids to volunteer.
Let me tell you, I worked harder on that then I worked on homework or studied for finals. Not because it was painstaking work, no no no. Simply because once I got started I didn’t want to stop. I loved what I was doing. I loved knowing that somehow what I was doing was going to further the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. I loved the thought that kids were going to be working with leaders to put this night together. It thrilled me.
And when I showed up Wednesday morning with my folder full of papers and my imagination full of ideas, I enthusiastically explained each new skit to our campaigners. Skit after skit they volunteered and filled every position we had. I was so impressed by their willingness to sacrifice some dignity for the sake of others’ joy.
Some volunteered to stub their toes, some to drink what looked like chunky milk, some to be tackled by someone twice their size, some to eat a hairy peanut butter sandwich, some to dance and sing to a song from the Lion King, some to sneeze incessantly, some to have banana smashed in their face, some to read pop songs as if it was “dramatic poetry” and the list goes on. The bottom line is, I know some really awesome high schoolers.
Additionally, I have an awesome team. Not only do these leaders volunteer their time to be with high school kids, but they weekly put together an awesome club. Not only did they volunteer to be in a goofy leader skit, but they each took on a skit and helped their kids put it together. Not only did they dedicate time and effort to this event, but they showed kids who Jesus is through their excellent leadership of those kids. By this team I am endlessly impressed and blessed. I’m so thankful that I get to work with a group of people who have a heart for lost kids and for the Gospel of Christ. For this, I thank my Lord. I am so grateful that He has allowed me to be a part of what He is doing.
After Wednesday morning, the task of putting together this night was at the forefront of my mind daily. It almost didn’t matter much to me anymore that I was moving out of the dorms, had another final or two to finish, and had a fun weekend planned - my heart and mind were fixed on Monday night. I tried to post a video on our campaigner facebook page each day to stir excitement and to keep kids from forgetting about their roles in the club to come. Kids were encouraged to make it their own and to invite as many friends to come as possible. Someone made an event on facebook, others posted statuses about it, some kids even met before Monday to work on their skit together. By all of this I was encouraged and impressed.
Monday came and I headed off to my favorite coffee shop. I spent the morning and early afternoon piecing together final details for the night. Just about everything was in place and when six o’clock rolled around, the kids showed up ready to shine. We had schedules, and lists, and scripts, and transitions. But most importantly, we had people. People ready to laugh. People ready to make others laugh. People excited to be there, to play their part, and to do what it takes to put on “Skit Club.”
Skit after skit, I watched kids own the night. They took control of their club and had a blast doing that. I watched kids laugh until their abs ached and they got to be kids. And at the end of the night they listened to one of our leaders share Jesus with them. With the “toothbrush challenge” given to them, they headed off to Carl’s Jr to have conversations with leaders and enjoy time with their friends. One more Monday night, so many more seeds planted in the hearts of kids who are dying to know this God that loves them so.