Deanna and I have been leading Thrive since the beginning of September and we are enjoying being back in youth ministry (although this time it is part of our Campus Pastor position). Thrive is a little different than your typical youth group and it took a few weeks to adjust but having an opportunity to speak value and life to so many un-churched teens is a real privilege.
Yesterday in my devotions I was reading in 2 Kings 6 when a Syrian army is coming to kill Elisha and he does not fear their attack because he knows a great force is on his side. When the Syrian army arrives Elisha prays for them to see and God reveals the chariots and horses of fire that surround the man of God. It caused me to do two things. First to contend in the spiritual battle that takes place every week at Thrive and made me confident that God will bring us victory. At the end of tonight it also reminded me to see properly. There were some difficult situations tonight, a few kids that we asked to leave, rocks thrown at the building during the God Spot and a few others that need our attention and prayer, but that is not the story of the night. When I see with the eyes of faith I see the reality that kids are being brought into the presence of Jesus, they are experiencing His love through our amazing team and the seeds of His Word is being planted in hearts. We had a girl come for the first time who felt safe and welcome when most places in her life are the opposite. God is doing a good thing and our students lives will be different, for the better, as they encounter Jesus in a real way.