Our Young People's summer could be summed up in one word: Service. Jesus taught us that we should follow his example in coming to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45). This summer our Young People have taken this command very seriously and have served in a number of contexts.
Firstly, they ran our 5 Day Club. For 5 days in Moneyreagh Community Centre our teenagers danced, sang and taught 50+ children aged between Primary 1-4. It was amazing watching our teenagers step up and lead young children with such maturity. But 5 Day Club was only the beginning.
A number of teenagers and Youth leaders were this year involved in mission teams, some of which you will hear about both on our website and in church on Sunday mornings over the next coming weeks. Jennie Burnet took part in a Christians in Sport week, Jack Martin was part of a Donegal PCI team, Megan McLaughlin led a CSSM team and a Fields of Life team to Uganda and we sent a group from Granshaw to serve and help our friends in Donabate Presbyterian as they ran a Holiday Bible Club. All of these guys went representing Granshaw, and more importantly God. And all did our church proud.
In the middle of this a group of our Young Life teenagers and leaders headed to Scotland for camp. This was an amazing week full of fun, adventure and plenty of laughter. The group that went away got on so well together and there were many special moments between them. But none more special than to see 4 teenagers stand in front of a room of people and accept Jesus as their saviour. This was most definitely my highlight of the summer.
Finally our biggest week of the year approached. Louder. This year at Louder we had 20 people on Residential team. That basically means 20 people who pay money to sleep on a floor and serve for the week. We also had an event crew of 60+ which included those who volunteered at our Football Fun Week, Holiday Bible Club and Louder Cafe, those who cooked each day for the Residential Team and those who helped decorate and un-decorate the hall. I owe all of these people a huge thank you. And were it not for the vast number of them, I would go through each one with a personal thank you.
They made Louder into the best week of the year for our children. We had almost 150 different faces that came through the door throughout the whole week, and each one absolutely loved it. From football in the mud each morning, to watching 'the bear' chase Murray, Riley, Camila and Ashley each evening at Holiday Bible Club. Our kids were so engaged in the stories thanks to the service of people in our church.
I have no doubt that God's name has been made that wee bit Louder this summer. But not through fancy programmes, or clever ideas, or even amazing talks, but because our church has served our community out of love. Making God Louder is not about putting on the best show in town. It's about getting down on our hands and knees and washing people's feet. Because that's what Jesus did.