When I started working at the church Brooklyn discussed with me how she wanted to start a service on Sunday mornings for middle school students. We talked through some ideas and we launched it when I started full-time. We began with 8 students and we’ve slowly grown up to about 25 each week. We’ve covered a variety of topics, but this morning’s lesson was a pretty simple/deep lesson.
Every week the students show up we have them sign-in on a laptop we have position at a station with lights, candies and other decorations to make it more inviting. When the students enter the room that we use there is music playing, announcements flashing across the projection screens and donuts up front for the students to snack on. If it isn’t clear…we are tremendously blessed.
This week though in preparation for Christmas I wanted to help the kids focus on Christmas. When the students arrived they walked up to a table with a pencil and paper for them to sign-in to. Most of the students didn’t acknowledge it, but a few asked where the computer was.
After signing in a few students tried to proceed to our room, but I told them that it was being used by someone else. A few students look at me like “Huh?” I then told them we were going to have to find someplace else to do our service because all the rooms were full. They kept suggesting classrooms and even the café, but I told them all the rooms were full.
After a while a few students asked me if I had brought the donuts like I do every week and I stated that we weren’t having donuts this week. Several of them complained because they look forward to the donuts every Sunday.
We usually start at 9:05, but I waited until 9:15 to start talking to the kids. I told them that we were going to have to go outside to the only place available for us to have our service. I lead them out to the area next to the dumpster and proceeded to let them know the skinny on the situation.
The truth is…no one really was using our room..there really are donuts inside in my office. The purpose of all this?
I wanted them to know what it felt like to show up somewhere and have no place to go for something so important. I wanted them to understand that when we come to church it isn’t about the computer check-in, donuts, trendy music or anything else. It is about the fact that Mary and Joseph showed up in Bethlehem and had no room to stay in.
It is so easy for us to get so distracted with the idea that we need to be entertained or that we need to have the latest in everything. When it all boils down to it the most important thing is Jesus coming to Earth to die for us.
No donut…fancy presentation software…or colored lights can trump that fact.