On my first youth retreat as a youth director, I took two youth. The next year I believe we took twelve, and my last year at that church I believe we took around twenty. But that’s not the point. The point is, my first year, I took two youth. (aren’t we cute?!)
I’ve heard several youth directors say that they need a minimum number of youth to make something worth doing. I’ve had parents over the years warn me there would be no youth show up because of xyz event or holiday going on. I’ve had suggested minimums brought up as an idea to ensure a certain amount of fun for those going.
And each time these things come up, I think about Brian.
Brian was my youth Sunday school teacher when I was in high school. And I can’t tell you how many times I was the only youth or one of two or three who occasionally showed up. But Brian was always there. Even when it wasn’t his turn to teach, he would come up the stairs to our classroom and check in on us, often finding us without a teacher (I honestly don’t remember any other adult ever showing up.). He’d stay and make something up to teach us or just hang around. And even though the only lesson I ever remember is a Bible trivia lesson, I will always remember Brian and how it felt that he was always there for us.
This past year I had a Sunday school class where maybe one or two youth showed up – sometimes none. I’ve had youth group meetings before where one to three youth show up. It’s not always easy to know what to do with a smaller group, and sure – it can be totes awkward,
but AND, it’s a unique opportunity to really get to know one another, to maybe go a little deeper, and to celebrate how awesome God is – that there is no minimum attendance requirement for God to show up.
So thanks, Brian – for showing up, for being there for me, for letting me know that you cared enough to check in on us even when you weren’t scheduled to. You inspire me to keep showing up and to make the best out of small-er-than-expected-gatherings.
(And thanks to these two beautiful seventh grade girls in the picture who just graduated college! So proud of you and who you have become!)