We continued our 5 Ways to Be Awesome series by looking at how to live a life of gratitude. One word that has been used to describe this generation is the word "entitlement." It carries with it the idea that we want more and feel like we deserve better. We looked at the story of Jesus and the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11 - 19. In that passage all ten lepers were healed but only one came back to say "thanks." We discussed how we often take things for granted ... things we have, people in our lives, what people do for us ... and how the best way to fight against a sense of entitlement is simply to be grateful. If we wake up every day and choose gratefulness, we won't feel entitled. But, if we choose to feel entitled, we'll never feel grateful. We'll just keep wanting more and more and more and feeling that we deserve it. That's not a way to an awesome life.
I tried to switch things up a bit for us on Wednesday and I re-arranged our room and set all the chairs up in groups of eight. The way I taught was to share for a few minutes and then have discussion questions for our kids to discuss with each other. Then, I'd share again and have kids discuss again. I was really excited about switching things up a bit, but, in the interest of full disclosure, it was not one of our best nights. Really seemed like from the outset we were battling with lots of distractions and lots of talking. Several times I had to stop and pause and wait for kids to quiet down. One time I had to specifically pull kids aside during our worship time and explain to them our "respect" rules at axis. I really felt like the content of what we had was good, but boy, it was just one of those youth ministry nights when I left thinking "Let's learn from this week and just move on to next week."
That said, there were still really good opportunities for discussion and coversation afterwards. I had some really good talks with some kids and also saw some of our kids just really serving like crazy afterwards ... cleaning, straightening, putting stuff away ... without even being asked. That was awesome.
Next Week: 5 Ways to Be Awesome - Staying Positive