“Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15
My 14-year-old son scored his first 3-pointer in a high school basketball game this past week. It would be fun to say that he made a last second shot to win a big game and got carried off the floor by his teammates. In reality, our team was losing by a significant margin. So, the coach decided to put in all of the freshman to give them some playing time and game experience.
Those young guys made the most of the opportunity. When Tyler sank the “3” I may have celebrated from the top of the bleachers. It was a big moment in his life – a moment he will never forget and a moment that I’m so glad I got to see.
As young adult ministry leaders we will see many young adults come into and out of our lives. They are a transient group of individuals who are always looking for new adventures and excitement. Along the way, they’ll experience some significant joys and celebrations. And we will have the chance to celebrate with them. These may not be moments that will be written down in the books of history, but they are moments and events that they will never forget. Having people that love and care for them to celebrate those moments of significance alongside them will mean a lot as the years pass by.
Graduation, a new job, buying a new house, or paying off a credit card are all reasons to celebrate in the life of young adults. As leaders of young adult ministry we have the opportunity to speak joy and celebration into their lives and to acknowledge that God wants to do even more in and through them as a followers of Jesus.
Here are some ways to help celebrate significant moments with your young adults:
- Give time in your small group to celebrate the good things.
Make a habit of asking your group periodically about things that you can celebrate in your group. Help them acknowledge that their gifts and talents have come from the Lord and that through celebrating the good things that have come their way, we have opportunity to honor God who loves us through the details of life.
- Write a note of celebration.
When you hear about something special that happens, take a moment to write a note to celebrate with him or her. I’m talking about one of those “old-fashioned” hand-written notes. It may seem archaic to many, but nothing says you care more than a note that comes from your heart in your own handwriting.
- Recognize the significance.
It may not seem like that big of a deal to you, but to that young adult, it could be a victory that they have been waiting for and have finally seen come to fruition. There are a number of young adults that have rarely heard the words “Good Job” from a parent or others along their journey. When you have the opportunity to speak words of encouragement and celebration in their lives, it possibly could be the first time they have sensed that anyone truly cares about what happens in their journey.
My son and I talked about that 3-pointer for days—and a smile came across his face every time. I would venture to say that there are young adults in your group that would value moments of celebration from you as their leader.
What other ways would you suggest to celebrate the significant events in young adult lives?
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.