Last weekend Kayla, her friend Mary, and I got to go to YEC ~ the Youth Encountering Christ conference. It’s our denomination’s winter teen conference and this was the 35th anniversary. I’ve dropped kids off there before and picked them up again, but I’ve never stayed for the whole weekend. This time I stayed, and I’m so glad I did.
With staff, students, and chaperones, there were nearly 900 people gathered around the theme: He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30) Since it was a big anniversary year, everyone on stage speaking or leading worship was an alumnus of the conference, meaning they had attended as a teenager at some point or possibly every year of middle and high school and then some. (The sound tech beat us all with 35 years of perfect attendance!)
I had the privilege of leading a little breakout session twice on Saturday afternoon called “My Daily Dose: What happens when you read the Bible every day.” It was sort of a last minute thing, I didn’t really know the exact description of it till the day before, and I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be a very popular session, but it turned out to be such a fun time interacting with teens (and their chaperones) about God’s Word.
And I got to make posters, so that was icing on the cake.
The top poster is probably my favorite, artistically speaking (Like my sword?), but this next verse is my favorite of the ones I chose to encourage them that reading God’s Word every day draws us close to Him, and accomplishes great things in our hearts and lives ~ guaranteed.
The last half of the session was a bit interactive, as I asked the students to share ways they have learned to incorporate daily Bible reading into their lives. I don’t think I was expecting much of a response. In fact, I was prepared to give them several tips and ideas for how to do this, but they surprised me in the cutest ways.
A 7th grade girl raised her hand and said she reads two chapters of the New Testament and one chapter of Proverbs every morning, because Proverbs has 31 chapters, so in one month, you finish the whole thing!
So excited and earnest.
A senior boy said he read two chapters of the Old and New Testaments every night before bed, and had recently started taking his Bible to school and finding time to read it once or twice during the day. He used to worry what his friends would think, but not really anymore.
So committed and brave.
And here’s the response that got me laughing out loud:
Tiny 7th Grade Girl (twin of the first one!): I read 4 chapters of the Bible a day, because that way I can finish the whole Bible every year.
Me: Wow! That’s great. I don’t think I knew that four chapters a day would mean finishing the whole thing in a year. Thanks for that piece of info!
Me (to the whole group): What if you miss a day or two? Should you feel bad about that?
Tiny 7th Grade Girl: No! Because really, it’s not 4 chapters. It’s 3.5. So, if you miss a day or two, you’ll still finish the Bible in a year.
(Which is NOT what I was getting at, of course!)
Me: Oh! So, if you go ahead and try to read 4 chapters a day, but then you miss a few days, you’ll still finish the Bible in a year?
Tiny 7th Grade Girl: Yes
Me: Got it. Good to know! Thank you!
7th Grade Girl: Actually…
Tiny 7th grade girl: Well, actually……..it’s 3.2, but I really don’t like rounding down.
Me: (cracking up) Are you a statistician? A mathematician?
Oh my goodness. Both groups (of about 30 each) were so cute. The 7th grade twins’ mom was in the back of the room. They approached me afterward to thank me for the session and one of her 7th grade daughters gave me a hug and told me how much she LOVED learning about the Bible in our time together.
Pretty sure I loved the time more.
3.2 chapters, friends. I think we can all manage that.