Last Wednesday was our senior night, one of our annual traditions with our youth group. Basically, the night is planned by the juniors (who blew it out of the water), feature awards given to the seniors by the juniors, awards passed on from the seniors to all high school students that they have collected over the years from previous graduates, lots of food, parting words from small group leaders, and hand prints on the wall from the graduates. Most years there is at least one small group leader who was with their group all seven years (this year it’s Dusty, it the picture below) – it’s an incredible thing to see some start a mentoring relationship with a group of eleven year olds and see it through until they become adults.
It was strange seeing this group of guys standing there in particular. They were eighth graders when I was applying for the job – some of them were part of the first group of kids I ever interacted with at this church when I came down to interview. This class as a whole represents the first group of kids from BVBC I’ve been the youth pastor for their entire time in high school. In many ways, they’ve changed the tone of small groups in our student ministry in a lot of really great ways. It’s sad to see them moving to the next stage, at the same time, I’m looking forward to seeing how God uses them in the different directions they’re headed.