This blog post was written by Aly Ogan as she reflects on why we attend student events and the importance of “relational capital”. She gives a personal take on why relationships mean so much to us, and a glimpse of what God is doing in those relationships through something as simple as a game.
Friday Night Lights
You see, I am a big fan of this event title. I don’t know how many of you have seen the TV series, but one thing is for sure if you have, you love it and you and I are on the same page. If you haven’t, it is a wonderful and brilliant show about how much Texas loves football and how much football players in Texas love Texas.
All that to say, when we decided we wanted to attend a football game every Friday in the fall it was a rather easy decision to name it “Friday Night Lights”.
We wanted to make sure this was something that we do regularly as a youth group because we wanted to support what our students in the ministry were doing outside of school. In doing so, we build this thing we like to call “relatioinship capital”. It is nice to have Dave as our leader because he is also a business whiz (nerd if you will) and he loves to bring those types of words into what we do as a functioning youth group.
Basically it means we want to constantly be building stronger relationships with our students. When we build that our relationships are strengthened by memories that we have made together. These memories and experiences allow us to get to know our kids better and build and create stronger bonds with them. We want that so that when that relationship is tested (and we hope it is) it still holds. If you dont have that, the relationship can break apart.
The very first time we took all our interns and volunteers to a football game we went to Churchill High School and watched them play South Eugene. We had this group of about 7 of us all sitting together and cheering for both schools but specifically John Saylor to win. It was this really fun experience to be all together, cheer for kids in the youth group, and make an event of it. It is fun for the volunteers to go, fun for the students that come with us, and also fun for the students that are participating.
For a long time (far too long in my opinion) youth groups have expected students to meet the church where they’re at. They should come to church, they should come to youth group, and they should get themselves to all events that are being put on.
Thats great that students come, but we just had this dream that we would be a youth group who meets students where they are. In their schools that they practically spend half of their life, at their game that they practice for every day of the week, at their play of which they practiced memorizing their lines for 100 million hours, at their cyclocross race where they rode through mud and then carried their 100 pound bike to the finish, or even at their spelling bee where they studied 0 hours but they just happen to be good at spelling. All that to say, we want to be where they are. We want to be at things that interest them. We want to make them feel like what they are doing is important to us too, because its is.
We love the students that God has blessed us with and we want to continue to be good stewards of the time we get with them. We hope that if you have a schedule of events, performance schedule, or a random thing going on that is important to you or your children, that you share it with us.
We wanna make memories together, and rejoice over really cool things that happen. Here are some pictures of this year’s events we have been at so far!
Gabrielle: Cyclocross racer, she has won first place in basically every tournament of her life, but most importantly, this event we went to out at Camp Harlow. It was sweet to see how excited she was that we even came out there. Some of us not until the end, but being out there and her winning were the best parts!
Grace: The Sheldon small group went and watched her and other girls play and she scored the game winning goal with 1 second left. That moment had me feeling crazy hyped for over a week. It was special that all of us were there, so when she won and she looked into the stands she saw us.
Marist Girls: We have about 5 players on this team and it is so fun to watch them all play very different positions and gel together as a team. I am new this whole watching soccer thing, and its one of my new favorite sports to watch. I have this team to thank because by watching them I have WAY more appreciation for it. I also think its dope that Ellie wears a neon yellow shirt as the goalie.
Emily: This girl choreographed a dance and did it in front of the ENTIRE school for an assembly. I don’t know if you have ever tried to choreograph a dance before, but that much time definitely deems “go watch that thing live”.
Jessica & Natasha: They are in the marching band for Sheldon, and they also performed at this assembly. THEY KILLED IT. They work really hard at it, and practice all the time so it was really fun to hear them play!
We still have so many chances to be a part of what these students are doing, and when you see us there I hope this gives a glimpse of why and that you will stop and say “hi!”.