This past weekend was one of the biggest in my life. I was in charge of planning what’s known as, Live Up weekend, which is a weekend retreat where students come and be together for two full days. It’s awesome, but man is it daunting. In the planning phases with my co-event head, Rachel, we became super stressed and needed God to really bring it all together. He did. He came through ten-fold. The weekend saw over a hundred and forty students go deeper in their walk with Christ and begin having an authentic faith. It was awesome. An awe-inspiring moment in the life of our youth ministry. One of my favorite moments during the event, was when a local edm producer played a show for us on Friday night. Neon Feather was an absolute blast, but the concert did something unique, something that was intentionally planned. It started a party, and God loves a good party.
You see, Jesus started parties in his ministry over and over. Don’t believe me? Check out his first miracle, his mom asked him to get the wedding more wine so they could keep the spirits up (John 2:1-11). Why did he do that? He did that because Jesus knows the power of a party, a party makes people comfortable and grow closer together by having fun. Now really quick, I’m not saying you should get wasted at parties, and for students (cause I know some of you read this) it’s illegal, so don’t, yo! I don’t drink myself, the point I’m making is, we need more parties. We need to have more opportunities to have a group of people together and have a blast. This brings us back to Neon Feather’s show, it was an absolute riot. A good party is one where you need a different shirt because of the sweat. This was one of those moments.
Non-stop jumping and dancing for over an hour, Jesus likes that.
One thing that I always do, is go first. I work with kids in afterschool and also with youth at Daystar, in both cases, I will always go harder than the hardest kid. I intentionally go first, no matter how goofy (Check out my post a few weeks back titled “Fun”), I do this because it gets kids involved and stop worrying about their image. I mean, if I’m the goofiest, they won’t look nearly as bad! I chose in the concert to go hard, and I didn’t stop for almost two hours. The thing was, kids were nervous to go for it, but as soon as they saw me and their other leaders start dancing and jumping, they had no more fears and started to party. Kids were laughing and having a blast in the pit, and to quote Rick Remender in his comic, Deadly Class, “In the mosh pit is where the kids no longer feel like the freaks and dance like no one cares.” What happened was a party, and Jesus likes a party, it’s the whole reason why Heaven is going to be a party. Parties help break ice and cut away from fake identities. We need to have more Jesus centered parties.
Once barriers come down, Jesus comes in.
Again, not advocating out of control parties. Live Up was very controlled, but what happened was, walls came down by having that fun. As a leader, when my students had fun with me in the party, they were able to be comfortable with me to talk about their faith journey. What seemed like a wild party, was an intentional foot in the door towards greater conversations. It’s so easy in life to build a wall in our hearts. We say we are running after Christ, but because of past sins and hurts, we can’t fully tear down the walls because we fear rejection or shame. What we need to realize is, God wants all of you, not some of you. We have to break the walls down, don’t listen to fear or shame, live in freedom and break walls down. Once we do this ourselves, we can start a party for someone else. We can create fun to help the people around us experience true freedom. That’s what happened during Live Up, we started the party in the lives of students, and Jesus came in.
I want you to think differently after this post. I want you to see the value that comes from starting a party for someone else. I’ve been talking about being for your neighbors and empowering others, so what would happen if you opened your home to a party? What would happen if you decided that you would get to know the people in your neighborhood, workplace, or that local coffee shop. You don’t have to have a rave like we put on for students at Live Up, but what if you had people over for dinner? What if you decided to get a group to go to trivia night? What if you decided to be the one to get your old friends back together and grab coffee? You can start a party for someone else, you can break the walls down and God can use you to speak life into them. You have an opportunity to do what Jesus did in that start of his ministry, you can make sure people see the glory of God by having fun and enjoying life that God gave us.
You have the power to change someone’s life, so start a party.