On Dec. 13 Gospel Youth will be hosting a game night where Boys will face the Girls in an epic showdown of point accumulation through many different challenges (trivia, creativity, strategy)! This is going to be a night of fun competition and a great chance for students to fellowship together! Students are going to be challenged to work as a team and likewise grow closer together as both teammates and competitors—having a great time while doing so will be the added bonus!
Note for yourself, this night is a Friday night, an extracurricular. We could easily have taken a worship service and turned it into a competition, or taken many consecutive services and had the challenge stretch out—but we didn’t. We want the students in and involved with our student ministry to understand that games are never to replace what is truly important about our ministry: to look deeply into God’s Word.
Every week all around our country youth groups are gathering to have epic events and games and tons of fun—and they call it “church”. They may preach a little, they probably have awesome music, students might even hear the name of Jesus preached, but it isn’t what they use to “attract” students or keep them attending. There are certainly places for worship nights, fun events, and games; however, on the list of priorities these things should be found low.
At Gospel Youth, here’s where we’ve landed: Students DESERVE BETTER than what they have received. Students deserve to be challenged by God’s Word. Students deserve to be treated as equal in the body of Christ. Students deserve to be treated as having the ability to listen to difficult things and then encouraged to proclaim Truth in their community and in the lives of those around them— especially in the lives of peers who want nothing to do with church. We reach them not by games and tricks and looks, but through the only thing that has the power to change a heart and life: the raw unfiltered Gospel of Jesus Christ—born of man to live the God-honoring life we cannot, to be crucified as a spotless lamb for our atonement, all to be raised from the dead to once and for all beat death, break the chains of sin, and set the path to see all sad things come undone! We do so much better by the student offering Scripture alone, and not the fluff they may desire or their peers desire. When we cater to this desire, we set them up to always desire entertainment as an idol above the proclamation of God’s Truth.
Showmanship is not everything. It can be used as tool, but there should be an emphasis on how great the Gospel is and how knowing God’s word is how we know God.
As the Youth Pastor at Midway, I want our students to have a blast at this game night on Dec 13. I will enjoy completely the sounds of teenagers competing against and working with one another. I always desire that a good time be had every time we meet to fellowship together. But in our youth group, when we meet, we meet with the central focus of scripture in mind. We long to see the fruits of the Gospel preached, and we long to see students grow to see the benefits of devotion to the Gospel, and we long to proudly lift high Jesus Christ—both in the times we meet, and in the lives we live!
Our Gospel Youth Game Night is designed to promote fun, group-building fellowship (along with some healthy competition). I love to have a blast with our students and create these great experiences. We always want to hold dear that the Word of God is what changes us and makes us new creations, and it is Christ who is worthy of praise and devotions, not number of students or games and good times. The aim of Gospel Youth and Midway will always be, no matter the event or occasion, to glorify God in everything we do! Check us out more deeply at midwaylife.com under the Gospel Youth tab.