Week 5 of Don’t Be A Hater

There is nothing more satisfying than closing out a series.  Whether it was a flop or a success it’s good to say, “We did it!”  But what makes this series so great is that it was our first of the year and my ministers hit the ground running and they were great.  Everything ran smooth and they gave me the opportunity to get ahead in my writing.  So again the first series of this year is in the books.  Don’t Be A Hater our series on anger concluded last night as we helped students to identify their anger, look to the source of this emotion and that anger (righteous or not) should be handed over to God.  Overall there is a lot we can take away from the series, a lot that we learned such as:

  • Handing something intangible like an emotion over to God is challenging for a teen to conceptualize.  I don’t know if this is something I should have realized earlier, but part way through the series it became apparent that the teens didn’t know what they were handing over.  Fortunately in our next series we are going to talk more about building a habit of prayer; therefore, this concept can be revisited.
  • It’s not admitting to our anger that’s a problem, it’s identifying it.  It was great that we spent our first two weeks identifying and defining anger, because a lot of the students saw this emotion as happenstance, not as a reaction to sin or injustice.  What this did for our students is create an awareness to the injustices out in the world and the sin happening in their own lives.
  • Releasing anger is hard for any age, but as they get older it gets even more difficult.  When we did the Reconciliation Service, the younger middle school students were more open to the challenge and I think it’s because the gap of time since their last confession (probably 2nd grade) is smaller than our high school upper classmen.  I know there are many push backs to confessing our sins; however, the less we do it, the greater the fear grows.  We make it out to be this big scary ordeal.

I’m sure we’ll address anger in some shape or form in the future, but right now it’s good to know that we addressed this emotion.  Next for us is a series on putting God first in our lives through prayer and tithing.  Again I’m hoping to revisit some of the themes that emerged from this series so that it can help us deepen future ones.