As I'd mentioned here last year, seeing my youth group kids grow up is a cool thing. I had a beer Friday night with two of them and it always makes me smile. I like being a part of the same church for so long and the way it allows me stay connected to the kids. Two of my 8th graders in my youth group are friends of ours kids that I visited their parents in the hospital when they were born and held them as babies. Kinda cool. They always ask the same question: "Is it weird buying me a beer?" My response: "Not as weird as it would be if I were buying you crack."
I'm in the process of transferring over old videos to my computer and I keep stumbling across these great memories from youth ministry stuff over the past 10-12 years. I've been watching the road rally's, mud bowls, youth group meetings and camps seeing these kids who are now grown up, a bunch of whom I'm still connected to via Facebook. Makes me wonder how they're doing and how God is growing the seeds we planted. With junior high kids, it's all about the marathon - watching kids go past their high school/college rebellion and eventually revisit their faith.
I came across the video from a surprise 30th birthday party that Cathie and my friends threw for me. It was one that I'd dreaded because I thought it would make me irrelevant to kids in terms of youth ministry. I've gotten over that.
I found a video of Noel from 1999 when he'd come and taught at my youth group on the topic of God in music. Even ten years ago he still had this great, edgy approach to the topic that set aside conventional wisdom and went back to God's word in a fresh new way. I'm pretty sure he still has the Cheerios shirt he was wearing in the video.