Last night was another night hangin’ with my hoodies. For those who dont know, my hoodies are the teens from the neighborhood who are pursuing Christ in the comfort of my living room. the rain didnt stop them and even with the summer, kids still show up an hour early.
My house is not just a cool place to go on a Wednesday night. I strive to create an environment of love and safety, where kids can be themselves and not experience the pressures of the world.
I feed them, and not just hot dogs. The hoodies have come to love the fact that I cook for them, and I am not the greatest chef, either! But somehow, food has become a ministry in and of itself. I just go with it. We eat together, some boysmore than others. And then scarf down brownies or cookies or s’mores!
We play a mindless game, then everyone fights over the couch and I take my spot sitting on top of an antique black trunk. I throw candy out at the kids who brought friends and the new kids who are brave enough to join our little family.
And then it begins. God teaches, and grabs their attention. Kids want to know what exactly is sin and what exactly Jesus did for us. They take everything they’ve been taught their whole 13-17 years and challenge it up against the truth presented. They pray for each other, and are concerned when others don’t show up.
A recent graduate is starting a boys group, so that they can all learn how to be Christian men. The baseball players are glad when games are rained out so they can make Uth. The girls invite their sisters and their best friends. And everyone feels the power of God. Everyone. There are moments of deafening silence, where even though I’m speaking, I know God is talking directly to their hearts. I just go with it.
These kids don’t go to church, so we bring church to them. And Uth church is raw and organic. It is happening naturally, foundational on Jesus and relationships. Ministering to teenagers in my living room is giving me insight into how the church was first built, which is helping understand how a church today should be planted.
My hoodies are learning about Jesus, and I’m learning about His church–all from the comfort of my living room!