Metro Young Adults Summer Update
I'm cancelling Summer! That's right, I'm changing up our calendar for Young Adults (18-35) here at the church but before I tell you about all that, let me explain.
I can't tell you how many times in the past several months I've had the same conversation but with different people.
"Everything feels like an obligation."
"I have no joy."
"I feel so alone."
"I'm just done."
Not only have I heard things like this time and time again from others, but I've said a few of them myself.
I don't think we know how much this past year has affected all of us. But I'm certain that it has. And as a pastor, it weighs heavily on my heart.
Young adults are weary and many express feeling distant from God.
So what do we do? What strategies should we try? How can we solve this?
The answer is we don't. Instead, we rest.
Stop Striving and Rest
God has re-opened my eyes to the beauty of Psalm 23 and I think it would be worth considering together. Let's look at just the first 3 verses.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake."
These verses can feel overly familiar but please take a moment to consider. There are powerful words here for a bunch of striving addicted, let's-fix-ourselves junkies. Someone is working very hard in these verses and guess what, It's not us.
"He" Not "We"
How many of us have tried to shepherd ourselves during this season? I know I have.
It's destructive and debilitating when we believe that the solution for an exhausted soul is ourselves. When I believe the lie that I need to fix myself, I'm saying that I'm the shepherd. I believe that I can restore my soul.
So I try to lead myself beside still waters. I try to make myself lie down in green pastures. But instead, all I end up doing is drinking from muddy puddles and lying down in briar patches. What do I mean by this?
How many of us are walking away from God's word and times of prayer during this season and instead filling our days with more netflix, more social media, maybe even porn, more distractions, more work, more, more, more? And instead of feeling restored, we feel more empty, more alone, and more tired.
Is it possible that since we are the ones needing restoring, that we are not the solution?
So, how do we get free from this destructive cycle?
The Lord is our Shepherd
God makes it abundantly clear in Psalm 23 that He is the one who is working. He leads us. He makes us lie down. He restores our souls.
I think the Lord is leading us in this season to not have more meetings. We don't even need more teaching (trust me, that is so hard for me to say as a pastor!). We need rest.
So back to me cancelling Summer. We are going to cancel the regularly scheduled Young Adult meeting for next Tuesday (April 27th) and the rest of them through July.
Instead starting in May and going through July we are going to have game nights at our house (Kohout's) on one Tuesday night a month.
What we want to invite you into is a discussion about rest. We will talk through sections of Psalm 23 and then play board games, laugh, and enjoy snacks. Our hope is that these nights aren't something on your calendar that weighs on you but brings joy and peace.
Those dates are...
May 25th: Game Night and Snacks (Psalm 23:1-3)
June 22nd: Game Night and Pizza (Psalm 23:4)
July 13th: Game Night and Ice Cream (Psalm 23:5-6)
We would also like to invite you to join us for some Summer events that are aimed at resting and enjoying good gifts from God. You are not required to attend these. They are not obligations. But we pray that spending time together while resting will be used by God in restoring souls. These will be things like a beach day, pool party, or a movie night. We will get those dates to you as we know moving forward.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to join a community group in our church over the Summer. As you can tell, we don't have a large selection of young adult focused groups (Though if you are a lady, you should check out Julia and Jacqualine's) like we have had over the past two terms. This was not what I planned when the year started but it's a reminder to me that God is the one in charge. So let's lean into where God is leading and join some of the amazing community groups going on in our church.
I know it seems weird to announce that I'm cancelling meetings and calling for rest, and then turn around and encourage you to sign up for a weekly meeting. I truly believe this is where the Lord is leading us. Community groups can be still waters and green pastures. I'm praying that we all find that this Summer. You can sign up here.