I've heard lots about how hard it is to work with teens and tweens. How they can be disrespectful, run you over... What I've found is that the teens and tweens I've been working with just want a relationship. They want to know someone is interested in them, praying for them, and enjoys their company. Even if that someone is a middle aged Mom or Dad who is cluless on the latest fashion, movies and music.
Last night the group came over to my house with their Wii remotes and a snack to share. I was a little nervouse about how the night would go but it ended up being so fun. They didn't mind us trying to dance or sing with them. They loved that we jumped right in. (Here is Gary the co-leader dad doing the Monster Mash w/ the kids. They picked something "old school" that he recognized.)
Back to relationships, isn't that what all of us want? We want loving relationships where we feel accepted, encouraged and a part of a community. Sometimes we try to complicate things, make big programs, read books, go to leader training to become the best spiritual leader we can. Don't get me wrong, these things can be good. But maybe, just maybe, we lose something getting wrapped up in all of that. Maybe we need to stick to the basics of loving God and loving people.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”