By Kevin Maurice, Youth Pastor
Throughout the year, I check in with students to see how they are handling the stress of balancing school work, band practice, football games and Grace Youth programs. I’ve found that both middle and high school students tend to carry around the pressure and anxiety of activities and academics vying for their time, attention and affection. Most aim to give their heart, soul, mind and strength to their Creator, to continue to grow in faith in Christ, but they find their heart divided, their souls and minds clouded and their strength missing.
This isn’t anything new. Learning how to cope with stress is necessary and part of preparing for college and adulthood. As a ministry team, one of our goals is to help students navigate through this transitional time of life and guide them to a deeper understanding of faith wherein they are able to trust God and look to Him in the midst of the chaos.
One of the most important ways to help students do this is by creating environments of worship. We weave corporate worship into both our weekly gatherings and special events because it guides participants to refocus and reorient toward God. It gives Him the glory and reminds us that He has a plan and purpose for our lives.
In October, we provided students with an opportunity to worship on a Sunday night at an event called Moontower. It was an evening entirely of worship, prayer and testimony. In the middle of a busy semester, it invited students to pause and reflect on who God is and how great He is.
In 1894, the city of Austin set up 34 “moontowers” to provide light for the residents. Before that, once the sun went down, people lived in darkness. Therefore, these moontowers became beacons of light in the darkness.
In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In Jesus, we have a Savior. Worship experiences, like Moontower, help us continue to get to know Him, both individually and as a community. Worship serves as a beacon of light not only in the lives of our students but also through them as they love others with the love only found in a relationship with Jesus.
Grace Youth’s next Moontower Worship Night is December 4 from 6:30-8pm in The Loft of the Live Oak Building.