Did We Lose Another Year?
by Mike De Vito
They're about ready to play the song. I remember practicing for it as a trumpet player in the high school band. We knew we would repeat the chorus more than we wanted, but we would not stop until the last graduate was seated.
To be honest I loved "pomp and circumstance." It stirred up so many emotions of endings and new beginnings. And it was important, not one of those songs that you play on just any old occasion.
As a veteran youth worker, I have sat in many a high school stadium and heard that song countless times over. But in the last ten years it has stirred up new emotions for me and I have found myself asking, "Have we lost another year? Another year on the high school campus for seeing God change lives and hearts? What did we see God do this year that was amazing, so amazing that it only God that could have pulled it off?
I'm not saying that God didn't work through individual students all year long, because I believe God is working in and pursuing each one all the time, whether they or we are aware of it or not. But what about as a community, as God's people on that campus? Students, teachers, staff and administrators, parents, youth pastors, coaches all connecting to see God move on the campus.
At the beginning of the school year, many in that "campus community" were filled with anticipation for what God might do through our students. We gathered at flagpoles, many met together and talked about a strategy to "reach the campus," but somewhere between September and May we got distracted.
I don't know about you, but didn't it seem like a new school year just began? Now we are preparing for and celebrating senior proms and senior get always. And after the recessional is played highs school seniors will scatter in a thousand different directions. But what did we see God do through us, his Church on the campus this year? Did we get distracted by a number of good things and our focus for seeking God together for our campus found itself buried in the pile of "good things?
As a youth leader I'm observing that we've helped our students be concerned about the "invisible children," but are our students forgetting about the "visible ones" they sit by every day, nine months out of the year? Are we helping them reach their mission field right there on their own school campus?
How many years will we continue to find ourselves distracted? I'm just saying, I think we may have just lost another year. What does God want to help us do about that?