A Different Kind of Friday Night Lights

Today, I am writing as a contributor to the Christian Writers Blog Chain. The theme for April is “Joy.” If you are a Christian author or writer, be sure to check out Christianwriters.com to network with others.

Friday Night Lights is a term that has come to describe Friday night High School football. But this past Friday night I saw a different kind of Friday night lights.

Friday Night Lights: Football

Image by Ed Schipul

Our church’s band had been invited to play at a youth rally at a nearby church. They agreed and it was decided we would bring the students from our youth group to the rally.

Seven of our students showed up expecting to have a great time of fellowship and singing songs. Little did they know what was about to happen.

During the praise and worship set, the students were actively participating. Whether it was doing the hand motions to the songs or actively entering in, they were doing it.

The real surprise came during the time at the altar.

Students were at the altar praying, asking for more of God. Suddenly, this shifted to them praying for each other, interceding on their behalf.

I can’t recall a recent time when our students chose to intercede and pray for one another publicly. It was an amazing time and I hope they bring it back to our youth group.

Breanna, Hunter, Conner, Hunter (yes, there were two Hunters), Alicia, Sierra, and Desiree I cannot express how proud you guys made this youth leader Friday night. You touched others. You brought joy to those who needed it. You let your lights shine. Keep pursuing God and great things are going to happen.

Through this experience, I gleaned four leadership insights for youth ministry.

  • You’ve got to trust that what you’ve sowed will be reaped in time:
    Youth ministry can be a tough path to follow.
    Numbers go up and down depending upon their feelings. Results of poor life choices can be seen. Sometimes you even see students go to jail or pass away.
    All the while thinking “Why am I doing this? Where are the fruits of our labor?”
    But Friday night reminded me we never know when those fruits will spring up. Prayer, intercession, love all flowed this night. The fruits became apparent.
  • Looks can be deceiving:
    Certain students can be hard to perceive properly. They may have crazy piercings and tattoos, make bad choices in their clothes, or be disrespectful.
    Yet you never know what’s really getting through to them until something like this happens.
  • A different environment can bring about different results:
    Having your students in the same environment week after week can become a hindrance.
    Familiarity creeps in. Complacency becomes the norm. But bring them to a new environment and things change.
    It’s similar to taking a different way home from work once in awhile. They’re able to see their situations in a new light.


  • Always be ready:
    To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic Friday night. I thought it would be just another youth rally for the students. Sing a few songs, clap along, and do their thing.
    The outbreak of praying, intercession, and caring was unusual. I wasn’t prepared for what was about to happen.
    Thankfully there were others there who were able to get things rolling along while I composed myself and figured out what to do.
    Breakthrough rarely lets you know when it’s coming. You must be ready. You must act when it does.

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
1 Corinthians 5:6

Question: Have you ever been in a situation that was unexpected? How did you respond? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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