We always told our kids in our youth group that they could count on our youth group to be a safe place; a place where they would never have to worry about being bullied and a place where they could share their thoughts and ideas, hopes, dreams and doubts without fear of being judged.   Unkind words or deeds much less any other form of bullying were not tolerated.   Perhaps being a safe place was the single most important reason why youth group has flourished at my church.

This past weekend I got to spend some time with our 6th graders on their summer trip.   I listened to the kids talk and share their hearts with each other and I was reminded once again, how good it is to have a safe place for kids to hang out;  a place where the kindness of Jesus is modeled by our adult sponsors and where the kids follow the lead with mercy, grace and compassion.

“Lord give us hearts to reach out to those who need a safe place where they can share their hearts with each other. Help us to remember that kids are everywhere who could use a listening ear.  Lead us to divine appointments as we resolve to be someone who will just listen.  Teach us how to be Jesus to young people who so desperately need a safe place.”

Thank you Haley for doing such a terrific job leading us this weekend and thanks to Pastor Mark and all the other sponsors who make youth group a place to practice Christian love.  I was reminded this weekend about what made our time together so special and why I appreciate our commitment to being a “safe place” so very much.

Something to think about.

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