8 Reasons Why I Won’t Complain About Tonight’s All-Nighter

i hate all-nighters (those insanely stupid youth events where hundreds of teens congregate together all night with no sleep and lots of rockstar). if i was a singer, i’d perform this song right now for you (but i’m not so i’ll just keep typing). 🙂  more than anything this probably just means i’m getting old – doh!  i’m not gonna complain about it because…

  1. it’s not about me. i have to tell myself this all the time. ministry is not about me, and what i feel at the moment doesn’t really matter. it’s just simply not about me.
  2. teens will bring their seeking friends tonight. i’ve already been seeing some pre-registrations come in, and it’s always exciting to see new names. when they heard that a church was putting it on, they still decided to come… which likely means there’s at least some interest inside them in this whole God thing.
  3. a few of them will stick around long term. one of the guys in my small group came to this all-nighter last year, and i remember really connecting with him there for the first time.  it’s been super cool to see him stick around all year and inch closer to God in the process.
  4. teens will have fun tonight. and in a world where teens face more heartbreak, pain and hurt than ever before, it will put a smile on my face to see them having the time of their life! life is just too hard to not have fun in the midst of the mess.
  5. it’s a safe place for hurting students. there will be caring adults all over the place, and structures in place to keep the environment safe. a student can come without worrying if they’ll get jumped, beat up, or bullied.
  6. in terms of all-nighters, it really is a good one. we’ve all heard the horror stories of bored teens trapped in small buildings, but that’s not what tonight is.  we meet at our church, then head to the rochester sports garden, then to the clubhouse funcenter, then to bowling, and then back to our church for some dodgeball. at 6am we serve a hot breakfast, and then send em home at 7am! no down time whatsoever!!!
  7. our church will get to work together with other churches. i love our network of local youth pastors, and we’ve been working together on this for a few months now. we all love students and there’s value in linking arms around common goals.
  8. some parents will have the opportunity to go on a date together. there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing the heartbreak in a student’s eyes because they know their parents aren’t in love anymore. i know not all of them will do this, but hopefully some will go to LongHorn Steakhouse together, catch a movie, or grab some ice cream at Abbott’s and simply enjoy some uninterrupted time together.



5 thoughts on “8 Reasons Why I Won’t Complain About Tonight’s All-Nighter

  1. Sounds like a great night. I almost wish I were in Rochester to help out with it.

    Among the other churches you’re working with are there any Catholic parishes?

    • thanks for commenting!
      HAHA no that’s not me lol. i love his line at 4:23 (you have to listen really close).
      and to answer your question – no, there’s not any catholic parishes involved with this particular event.

      • The reason I asked about Catholic parishes is that there is a Roman Catholic/Evangelical Dialogue here in eastern Massachusetts, with representatives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and Vision New England. I think it’s a good thing when Catholics and Evangelicals can realize how much they have in common and recognize each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord. So when I noticed that the all-nighter involved several churches, it popped into my head to hope that there might be some Catholics involved.

        I like to tell a story of when I was at grad school at Duke University. One day I was walking past the outdoor basketball courts and there was a game going on. I figured it was a pick-up game because one player yelled to another, “Same team! Same team!” Years later, when I became well acquainted with an Evangelical colleague at work, I thought that it is unfortunate that many Catholics and Evangelicals don’t realize that they are on the same team, the Jesus team, which is working to spread the Kingdom of God by proclaiming the Gospel and helping people to live lives of faith in the Lord Jesus.

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