When was the last time you stopped and asked yourself, “Who am I actually allowing to speak into my life?” For those of you with kids, who is speaking into your kid’s life?
I know this can be a little bit of a scary thought, but we all know that the people that we spend time with, work with, and go through life with have an impact on us and how we live our lives. The same is true for our kids. The friends that they spend time with will influence and even help shape their interests and goals. Don’t worry…not all influence is bad; after all we don’t want to socially isolate our kids.
As parents, we have to be aware of the groups they are spending time with and the groups that they belong to. At our student ministry, Engage, one of our main goals is to build a community where students can feel welcomed and accepted the way they are. They don’t have to try to impress anyone or feel pressured into acting a certain way. That’s why we try to build in a fun event every month, which allows students to get to know one another better and just have fun together. This is a group of friends who all share a common denominator — a desire to know God better!
This past weekend we took a group of our students to Laser Quest for a night focused totally on having fun. We were all suited up with laser guns and vests, and then we ran through a black-light lit maze with the goal of racking up our own points. It was a ton of fun and not super difficult for anyone — just a time to enjoy being a part of the group. Afterwards we hung out and ate a lot of pizza. As you can tell, we aren’t breaking any new ground here. And we don’t need to be very inventive to create environments where middle and high school students can have fun with others like them who have a desire to grow their relationship with God. It’s important to acknowledge that the peer groups that our kids hang out with have a big impact on their lives, and our aim at Engage is to solidify a group that will help point middle and high school students in the right direction as they continue to grow their relationships with God.
Hugo is our Director of Student Ministies, leading our Engage ministry for Middle and High School students.