Week 4 of Don’t Be A Hater

Despite the crazy weather this past Thursday our turnout for Uprising on Thursday was overwhelmingly good.  With no after school activities interfering most of our students were free to visit us.  And this was great considering that week 4 of Don’t Be A Hater (our series on anger) was a Reconciliation Service.  Throughout the series we’ve been talking about anger (righteous and unrighteous) and we wanted the students to know that the best way to handle and release our anger is to give it over to God through forgiveness.
To do this we started the night with reflective music, then a prayer service followed by a mini message and an examine of conscience.  This all lead up to an hour of reflection where the students could hang a petition on a cross we had set-up and even choose to see a priest of confession.  The night was interesting because we had the students attention during the prayer service and worship but when it got to reflection many of them didn’t know what to do.
Now I don’t think the issue was “I don’t want to tell a priest my secrets” what I think it comes down to is a lack of clarity on a number of things.

  1. Identifying Sin.  I was talking to a group of them and many of them are like, “Chris, I’ve been pretty good and not angry, what do I need to confess?”  I responded that I didn’t know but what it told me is that they are either in denial or they don’t know what’s a sin. 
  2. How to Confess. Many of the students wonder why they have to confess their sins to another person, why can’t they just think it and give it to God.  But James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins and pray with one another so that our petitions gain strength.  
  3. What Does His Healing Feel Like.  I’m not sure how to describe it, but you and I know the healing of God is a feeling we all need to obtain.  But again how do you describe it in a way that’s going to motivate teens to seek God’s forgiveness.

There are other things that popped up but these are the big three.  I know a reconciliation service is something we need to attempt a few more times.  What I’ve learned is that we need to do a better job talking about the consequences of sin and be more clear on how that should be released.