When the V8 Supercars held an event at Eastern Creek, my friends and I decided to go for the weekend and I was going to stay over for the Friday and Saturday nights so we did not have to travel as far over the two-day event. On the Friday night we were deciding what to do and they invited me to the Youth group they were attending. At first I was unsure, spending a Friday night with high schoolers younger than you but that thought was changed as soon as I arrived – they were fantastic to hang around.
Being the 'new guy' is very hard no matter what the situation, to take a big leap out of your comfort zone and move into the unknown is tough to do but this leap paid out huge dividends to me personally as within a couple of weeks of attending I had made many friends, my Facebook popularity increased with friend requests and I felt an indescribable change between me and the Lord.
It's not to say I wasn't a Christian before going to this youth group, but I have found it has made me a true Christian which as we learnt through a seven-week program is tough in today's modern society.
The program we based it around was this Christian film 'To Save a Life', in this film the main character Jake is a popular American high school basketball player with dreams of playing for a college team while over the course of his high schooling life he grows steadily away from his best friend from primary school. It is an opposite effect, as Jake becomes popular, Roger, his friend becomes depressed with little to no friends and eventually commits suicide in front of the school.
Jake, moved by these events changes his life around and starts making a difference in the school by reaching out to those who are alone or are unpopular.
After watching the film our youth group studied it for an entire term as we learnt about various topics;
- Lowering the waterline: this was about making our expectations of others who might be different lower so we can communicate with them as we slowly get to know them
- You are not alone: everyone has personal problems and inner demons, this showed that some people might share or have had similar experiences to you.
- Say something, do something: there is a choice between what is right and what is easy, this topic helped us with this decision that is different to all of us
- What's your logline? how you perceive yourself is not how others perceive you, we learnt that the first step to changing others is to change your own ideas and beliefs
- How to save a life: no, this was not CPR training, we learnt about making a difference to others is not hard, the smallest thing could mean the whole world to them.
- Stepping into the bigger story: putting into practise what we have learnt over the past term.
With youth group finishing up for the year, the long summer between it starting back up in February again begins, to the guys and girls at New Life Youth in Blacktown, thank you for being you, an incredible bunch of young people with bright futures who want to make a change in this world!
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is an under-graduate student.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html