February 01, 2018
In less than twelve minutes, I watched as our students demolished 800+ Chick-Fil-A nuggets. The sight was beautiful to behold. Partly because it was amazing how fast the nuggets disappeared, but mostly because as the students ate, I could see how they engaged with each other, how community was being built, and how fellowship was happening.
As a part of our church’s fasting and feasting rhythms we have chosen to feast together at youth group on Sunday nights. We bring the middle school and high school students into the same space and we feast! We feast with a purpose to be together and to enjoy the relationships we have with one another.
Lately in youth group we have been talking about what it looks like to see the abundant life found in the gospel in our lives. We have talked about finding the beauty in what God is doing in the world, in others around us, and in our own day to day. As we have been talking about this, we have been challenging one another to be intentional about our relationships with God and with the people we do life with. We have encouraged authentic, solid relationships and avoiding the “circuses” of this world, which pull us away from real relationships.
As a result of this, many of our students are fasting from social media on Wednesdays, This, coupled with feasting with each other on Sunday, is really showing what we are meant to do as the body of Christ. It encourages us to find the beauty in fellowship with one another.
Many of us we think fellowship happens when we post something for all our friends or followers to see. We are stimulated by the "likes" that pour in for it. The likes offer a warm pat on the back and a feeling of self-worth and desirability. But this creates a never-ending cycle that drives us to up the ante and see how crazy we can get to acquire more likes—almost like social currency.
For many, social media also takes us to a place of forgetting we are meant to have face-to-face conversations with one another, we are meant to interact with one another, and we are meant to worship together. We have been created to glorify our Father in heaven. We do this through many different ways, but one way is when we come together and truly care for one another.
I encourage you to try this this week: Set your phone down, turn your TV off, remove whatever “circus” constantly competes for your attention, and just be with those around you. Encourage them, care for them, love them, and in doing so feast on the beauty of what God is doing in and around your relationships with others.
- Andy Pasek
Andy Pasek is the Student Ministries Coordinator at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church.