The purpose of most youth programs in the world is to help kids know who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing. In my church, our youth program seeks to do that very thing. Of course for us the basis of that it that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father and that he loves them. If you think about it, there is great power in that understanding.
Last night was another annual event on the girl's side of the youth program. It happens near the beginning of the year to teach about what the program does and how it works. This year we chose to do a massive 3-act skit about how young women are actually princesses, complete with Greek-style chorus and narration. The girls had fun with it, all the other women I support as secretary of the organization did an amazing job of putting it together, and it was a great success. I've always had a large place in my heart for teens, and it was moving to watch them say things out loud, with conviction, such as, "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father and He loves us and We love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places..." Wow. There is so much of relativism and mere opinion in the world today. It is so easy to be swayed to believe whatever is the latest headline. I am so appreciative that I have been taught that there actually are things that are dependable instead of constantly changing and that living a life of faith actually takes intelligence, action and compassion. It is one of the great triumphs of misinformation that in general, religious people are now thought of as rigid, judgemental and somehow blind. The vibrant, amazing, smart, funny, and diverse group of teenaged-girls I saw share their faith last night were nothing of the sort.
In our church we say that we feel the spirit, which is the influence of God, when something is right or true, and last night, in a decorated gym in a little church in a place not many people have ever heard of , God was aware of these girls and the spirit was indeed present.