If You Were Ever in My Youth Group…

If you were ever in my youth group in the past decade plus I wanted to say a couple things to you:

First, I wanted to apologize for not knowing what the heck I was doing most of the time.  Some of my mistakes and lack of experience impacted some of you greatly and that makes me sick.  I’m not even sure of ways that I let many of you down.  I’m sorry for not being there more.  I’m sorry for not listening more.  I’m sorry for not organizing more.  I’m sorry for not equipping you more.  But I’m thankful that you were always so gracious with me.

Second, I wanted to let you know that I still think of most of you often and pray for you often as well.  I’m writing to a big, blank faced crowd at this point, but in my mind’s eye I still remember moments, faces, conversations, tears, laughter and celebration with you.  I wanted you to know I’m still here and I still care if you need anything.

Third, I wanted to applaud those of you who are still walking closely with Jesus.  I wanted to encourage you to keep walking that way.  Keep dreaming.  Keep impacting lives.  Keep seeking Jesus.  You are my heroes.

Last, I wanted to let those of you who have walked away from your faith know that I still love you as well.  And while I love you deeply, I wanted you to know that Jesus is still overwhelmingly in love with you.  If He were to grab your attention right now through this odd method, I believe He’d say, “I love you still and more than you’ll ever know.  And I still have some freakin’ amazing plans for your life.  I’m always here ready to bring you home.  Go find a church and get plugged back in.  Grab your Bible and read Luke 15:11-31.  Or just sit still and know that you still mean A TON to me.”  And yes, I’m pretty sure He’d say “freakin’.”

Whether you are doing amazing with God right now or whether you are far from Him…

Whether you walked away because of hypocritical Christians or because of me or because of your own choices or because something didn’t add up as you dug deeper into Christianity…

Whether you are single, married, divorced, or a parent now…

Whether your present circumstances are perfect or an absolute mess…

Whether you are in full time ministry or full time partying, here’s what I know:

Jesus is on board with you.  He is closer than your breath.  And it is only the voice of His enemy and ours that would convince you otherwise.

I love you and miss you all so much.  All of you.  Familiar faces and the ones in the back in the dark that I never really knew.  I’m stoked God knew you then and still knows you now.

Stand firm.  Be encouraged.  Dream Big.  Come Home.

-Ron

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