The night before last our group was hanging out at a home playing cards, board games and eventually flashlight tag in the woods. It was a fun time of fellowship and bonding. It was a very safe place to be.
Just up the road, a group of high school juinors were out in a field drinking and having a party. Several were members of the church, but have never stepped foot in any kind of youth program, class, activity.
One such kid decided to jump in his car with his girlfriend and drive to McD's to grab some food.
Ten minutes later, the car ended up flying forty feet off the road and crashing into a utility pole. Girlfriend dies on the scene and boy ends up in intensive care. He is going to be find, just broken bones- but he is facing manslaughter charges for driving drunk.
Just turned 17 and now his future is unclear.
How would this senerio have been different if those two were not at the party... what if they were with us instead? What could I have done differently as youth pastor? What if my kids who don't drink were actually at that party and were able to intervene and not let them drive? What am I teaching my kids- to draw together and be safe or to reach out to those around them and make a difference?
Lot of hypotheticals, but I really see this as an instance where I need to step back and re-evaluated what I am doing in ministry.