Last weekend I took this crew of Seniors on a road trip.
It was a pre-planned weekend to say thanks to my first real class of students who've known me the entire time I've been at Mission Hills as well as students who have really taken student ministry seriously. During the weekend we drove Route 66 for a majority of the trip. It was crazy to see so much of a road that was A CENTRAL way to get to California. It was also sad to see some serious crazy cool spots for motels, rest stops that have been completely run-down because of lack of commerce. We had a ton of spontaneity in our trip as well as a plethora of Random fun & pics. I can't tell you how often we stopped the car, flipped a U-turn or hung a hard right to get a cool picture. You can see them here-
This trip was very RICH in youth ministry reward for me. I was able to talk with a key group of students that I have been around as they've wrestled with doubt, faith, joys, passions & what their faith is for the last 3.5 years. For the trip I created a road trip memory book to have some guided discussions through the 1208 miles we drove in 2.5 days. We had deep & extended conversations about faith, Salvation, Goals they have as they move forward in life, Impact they want to have for the Kingdom of Jesus as they continue on in life post high school. It was great to have conversations about parents, pressures of life, the impact our local church had in their lives. I had misty eyes at some points of looking at 5 young adults who are actually acting & living as young adults.
A favorite moment for me was driving back on Sunday and one student got a picture from a friend. In the picture was 9 high school students passed out in a living room from prom. Yes I know they were passed out & weren't just sleeping. Most people don't just fall asleep holding a bucket next to them. As this picture got passed around everyone in the car echoed the comment of "we could've lived a life just like them...but we are doing something different. We are living a new normal".
I love when students own their faith & take their relationship with the incarnate Christ seriously!