Last Sunday I started a series at Surf Youth Groups called “Better Than Good”. The premise being that being Good is the baseline. We are supposed to do our chores, our jobs, our schoolwork, and keep ourselves presentable for other people (hygiene for those of you who didn’t pick up on that). But that eventually becomes tiresome. We stop growing after we’ve mastered how to routinize our everyday responsibilities. We can be doing “Good” but somehow we know that in order to grow, we need to be and do something “Better”. This is why its titled Better Than Good.
So my last week, our first week in this series, I read portions of Philippians 4, where Paul is commending the Philippian church for their support of him. He was sure that he was able to bear his challenges in life in Poverty and in Wealth, but his load was made lighter by this church who had given to him to alleviate some of Paul’s resume (which in his previous writings, are all instances of suffering for the Gospel). Paul was content to suffer for Christ, and the Philippians did not have to help Paul. Yet they did. They were Better Than Good.
Then, I challenged them to get around tables and talk about how they could be “Better Than Good” in four areas and the results were quite fruitful.
(1) Home – The results primarily dealt with attitudes. They do what they have to, but students don’t always like to do what they have to. Attitude and doing work with joy was a primary gift to help out families.
(2) Church – Here, participation in church worship, and volunteering more in the church community (acolytes, ushering, reading scripture, service, etc.) was highest on the list to help out.
(3) Community – The response to this element was overwhelming. It is obvious that youth are heavily involved in their communities, and they love to think up new ways to serve those who have need around them. From serving those with certain disabilities to doing random community service projects, this category was as infused with thought and energy as you’d imagine. Young idealism is the best kind, and we plan on making these ideas become reality at a Service Oriented Lock-In early October.
(4) Globe – Here, many students mentioned becoming missionaries (short and long term), and primarily thought about poverty relief in other nations. I’m thinking of partnering with a UMC Advance project, and we hope to begin taking an offering soon that would support that adopted project somewhere in the Globe.
So all in all, it was a very successful beginning to the series. Next week we’ll be talking about being “Better Than Good” in our individual lives, so that when we help others, we are giving them a vessel filled with God’s Holy Spirit, and doing God’s will rather than just leading our own (sometimes destructive) paths.
Let me know if you have any questions or have any ideas for me to include in the series (comment below).