Yesterday was a flash back in time for me. Drew and Joel gave me the opportunity to preach in Oasis, our teen worship service. It was really cool. Some of you don’t know that I came from a youth organization in Missouri in 1995 to become the youth pastor at Eastview Christian Church. Oasis was a two year old program at that time. I’d always said at that point that I was a preacher trapped in a youth minister’s body; so the idea of preaching every Sunday to a bunch of students was compelling. I loved it there. I love the energy, the loud music, the casual dress, the potential that sits in every chair.
In the old days I preached in Oasis with bleached hair, earrings, jeans, and vans. Yesterday, I wore dress shorts with a Tommy Bahama shirt (yes I looked old - or I looked my age anyway).
In the old days hundreds of high schoolers and junior highers packed into a dingy old gym on towanda ave. Yesterday, we met in a brand new facility (still a gym) with great lights, sound, and stage.
In the old days, Caleb my youngest was a four year old kid running around being spoiled by the teens. Yesterday, he was a 6′5″ junior giving the communion meditation after my sermon.
In the old days, God allowed me to preach the Word in a way that teens could related to. Yesterday, the Word of God did it’s job again - they were actually listening to what I said about Jesus and obedience!
In the old days, I hoped that these kids would find a spiritual hero in me their youth pastor. Yesterday, I prayed that they would find a spiritual hero in their sr. pastor.
In the old days, Lynne Sugai was there worshipping and loving teens like crazy. Yesterday, Lynne was still there doing the same thing.
In the old days, I believed that a church were teens could serve, lead and learn in a community of their peers would be a pretty cool place to do church. Yesterday I believed it all over again.
In the old days, I believed that God had great purpose for students if they would give their lives to Him. I still believe that and pray that Oasis will be the place they can find God and live for him.
In the old days, I felt young and cool when I walked into that gym. Yesterday, I felt old and cool (even though I know they didn’t think that…that I was cool i mean)
In the old days, I loved preaching to students. Some things never change.
Mike is the Senior Pastor of Eastview Christian Church in Normal, IL. Mike posts weekly about what God is teaching him in his spiritual journey as a pastor to a growing church, husband to his best friend and wife of 28 years, Sara and father of a twenty five year old, super talented tattoo artist (Michael II) and his favorite young preacher (22 year old, Caleb).