Tuesday, October 5, 2010
People Of Purpose
I had the opportunity to lead worship for a girls conference a week or so ago. It was called "One Night Stand" and was hosted by a ministry for youth called People Of Purpose.
I was so proud to be a part of it. The girls ranged in age from 12 to 19 and the leaders were anywhere from college age to in their 40's. The topics covered things like unforgiveness, Father/daughter issues, despair, suicide, abortion, the occult and witchcraft, and more. There were small group breakout sessions after each topic, giving the girls an opportunity to talk things through with others in a small settings. Any information that the leaders learned about habits hurtful situations that needed to be followed up on was relayed back to church leaders or parents so that the girls have help healing and moving forward.
It's definitely different leading worship for youth than it is for an older church crowd. It's not just different music, it's a different way of relating. When I spoke to pray or encourage them, I found myself feeling like I needed to switch gears. What are they dealing with? How can I speak their language? They are dealing with things like nonacceptance, abandonment, rejection, fear, abuse, anger, despair, low self-esteem. But I realized something as the weekend went on....
I know 40 year old men who have low self-esteem, feel abandoned, and have suicidal thoughts. I know adult women who deal with fear and abuse. It's not that adults deal with different issues that teenagers do, it's just that they are dressed up differently. In fact, most of the issues that adults have came from their childhood or teen years. So, maybe the language is different, but the problems aren't.
I learned a few other things that weekend...
1. Influences of the occult (including satanic worship, occult ritualistic practices, and symbols of witchcraft) in music, clothing, jewelry, movies, books, video games, toys, etc. have increased 400% in the last ten years.
2. 325 is the daily abortion average in the state of Florida. (That's three hundred, twenty-five God-made precious children...gone. A day.)
3. 3500 is our country's daily abortion average.
5. Most church-going women would rather face Jesus with the guilt of an abortion than face their church, friends, and family with an unplanned pregnancy.
6. One in every ten teenagers have been raped.
7. One in five teens have contemplated suicide.
8. 40% of teens have inflicted self injury.
Oh, that this young generation would turn to the God Who has already released His love, acceptance, and miraculous restorative power to them.