When was the last time you were so excited to get in through the doors of Holywood Baptist Church that you banged on the doors to be let in?
When was the last time you were so excited by something that was being held in the church that you pestered those organizing it for weeks and months before hand asking 'Is it back on yet?' 'When will it be on?'
When was the last time you brought loads of your friends down to come to something put on by the church?
When was the last time you felt so at home in church that you ran about and shouted?
I'm not sure how many of us, myself included, could remember the last time we really did any of those things. And yet on Saturday, and in the weeks and months leading up to it, those at the Youth Club (aka SAS) witnessed all of these things and more.
From early in the summer there were comments posted on the SAS Facebook page demanding to know when it would be back on. On Saturday night the young people landed down earlier than it had been advertised and could not wait to be let inside. Inside they came, all 54 of them, in groups of friends, keen to explore the church and have fun, and yes there was some running and maybe some shouting as well.
It's easy to take this for granted. It's easy to focus on the problems such a crowd of young people bring, and we should focus on those in their proper place. But it's also easy to miss the wonder that it is. That so many young people are desperate to be let into a church building to an event ran by the church is incredible. It is something that so many people just assume couldn't, and doesn't, happen today. Especially when you consider that many of these kids have no real church background.
Maybe instead of focusing on the problems we could learn something from these young people. How enthusiastic are we about coming to church? Yes, the young people do come for different reasons than we do when we come to the Sunday morning service or to the prayer meeting, they come to have a laugh and banter which is well and good. But when we meet, we come to worship the living God and to fellowship with His saints. How much more exciting is that than just having good craic?
Let's not take our youth club for granted, let's be amazed at the opportunity God has given us to reach them for Him.
Let's not be too proud to learn something from them either. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing if we were seen knocking on the door on Sunday morning to get in!