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by Trever Carter
One of my absolute favorite additions to a typical series at iMPACT is what we call a Review Preview. At the end of each sermon series, students get an opportunity to take advantage of an open mic to share about how God has changed them through the previous series, and at the end, we take a quick look at what’s coming up in the next few weeks.
Since I didn’t have the courage to stand in front of the group on Sunday night, I might as well show how the past two series, Love Does and Silver Linings, have affected my life.
For Love Does, I just want to share a couple of stories. I took a lot away from all of the bottom lines, like the fact that I didn’t have to be defined by my failures, but I think that the series really shown through in a few moments over the past month. Last month, I was able to work at our church helping run the election. I was there from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., so believe me when I say that it was a long, monotonous day. And also hear me when I say that teenagers don’t typically work these things (I did it for social studies class in school). The people that work these things are often older, and deeply impassioned by the United States government system. The man who worked next to me was named Harold, and he was a single man in his mid-seventies with A LOT to say about his life experiences … about 15 hours worth of things to say. Sometimes, he even got so caught up in what he was saying that he didn’t hand the ballots out the right way which resulted in some angry voters. Although there were times where I just wanted to get up and walk away because I couldn’t get a word in, the Love Does series started to speak to me. I thought that this man probably didn’t have many people in his life that he could share his experiences with, or many people at all that could really talk to him. So, I thought that Love would sit and talk to him and engage in conversation with him, just listen to him and be present for him. And what he had to say was actually very interesting: a long life full of a lot of crazy experiences. Love is patient, kind, gentle … And a lot of those things I also got to implement in my family. Just being present and loving them when they frustrated me.
And this was complemented perfectly by the next series, Silver Lining, which had everything to do with changing the dynamic of your family and finding the silver lining. For me, that was big. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my family, but sometimes they really just know how to push my buttons –some more than others– and it taught me so much about how I am personally responsible for the dynamic of my family, how I respond to them and how I treat them. That was a tough pill to swallow, but it was so encouraging.
The other thing I loved was just seeing the strength of the community in our youth group, how we are a family and we all love each other and are there for eachother. It became completely evident when kids started taking the mic to tell about how God has helped them through their peers, deeper, iMPACT and the leaders. It reminded me how incredibly blessed I am to have the adults and youth group I have in my life –so I know I’m a week late, but I am certainly thankful for that.