“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” – Matthew 18:20

Life is so much busier now than I ever was when I was a teenager. You’ve got youth group, organized sports, dance, theater, and more homework in a week than I did in my entire life. Some of you even have jobs now, just like we did back in the day.

Sometimes we can get a little discouraged when only a few people – or, say, two – are able to make it to youth group. We wonder if we have remembered to remind everyone. We wonder what we can do to make more people want to come more often. But mostly, and I think I can speak for all the adult youth leaders at Spirit of Life, we miss you when you’re not there.

But regardless of who can make it and who has commitments to be elsewhere, we can always count on God to be present. Lots of times, we open our meetings with prayer, inviting God to be with us during our time together. And I’m sure that while God appreciates the offer, God is there whether we specifically send up the invitation or not. It’s up to us to acknowledge God’s presence and be open to the guidance of the Spirit as we do our thing. God is so much more than we can even begin to imagine.

This isn’t to lay a guilt trip on anybody. I will always understand when you all have your other commitments. Learning to put your priorities in order and following through with them is one of the most important things you can do to show responsibility when you’re young. Or when you’re not young!

I love the time I get to spend with our youth group. Every one of the members of the group is like my own child. I’ve watched some of you grow for years into the fine young men and women that you are becoming, both physically and spiritually, and I am proud of the things you accomplish when you point your hearts toward God.

So, when you are able to be there, making two or three into two or three times that, I am glad that we can be there to share God’s presence together. And when you’re not, I want you to know that you are missed, and never far from my thoughts, and always welcome the next time, or the time after that, or the time after that, or…

By Eric Scott

a software developer, weekend home project worker, backyard athlete and father of five. He is a serving elder at his church in Apple Valley, Minnesota, where he also works with the youth group.