Yesterday, I had the opportunity to lead the Jr. Hi fella's small group. There were 20 guys there and me. We were reviewing the past 12 weeks of curriculum, which was over the basic topic of "Dares from Jesus". Marko (from Youth Specialties) wrote some excellent small group sessions in his Wild Truth Series...anyway, this book was about the dares that we can get from Jesus' words and actions.
So, yesterday to review I had two intentions. One, I wanted to find out which one they thought was the hardest, and two, I wanted to find out which one they thought their school needed more than any other. I was impressed with how open some of the guys were with what dare they thought was hard. Here are the dares we covered.
Dare to be humble.
Dare to put God before money.
Dare to not judge others.
Dare to love God before anything else.
Dare to live up to your word.
When we got to what they thought was the most important dare for their schools they all said that the dare to not judge was the most important.
All of them had different reasons, but it seemed that the prevalent theme at each school is that people are classified into certain groups, which classifies their behavior and what they are expected to do. Everybody had a story from their school (even the homeschooled kids did)...
I asked them if they thought it was possible for their schools to be rid of judgementalism. Nobody thought it was possible. One kid said it was possible if everybody got "saved". To which I replied by asking who thinks they are saved and who still judges people. Not surprisingly, most of the kids raised their hands in response to both questions. (I'm not downplaying "Being Saved"...just pointing out that even the "good side" is doing the judging)
But this issue of judging others...I think the kids were astute to notice. Most of them have been victims of it. But most of them don't think they can do anything to change the system. It was actually happening right there in the circle while we were talking (some guys made fun of another guy for the shoes he was wearing...)
But I think I should hit this up a couple more times through the youth ministry process...maybe make it a part of who we are as a group. We are a group who leaves the judging to jesus, and the assist Him in the loving of the whole world...whew...that's a hard one to live up to.