Friday, August 24, 2007

Youth Praise Night

Here's an idea that when part of an over all strategy can help youth focus on making Jesus the central part of their life.

Last night, (August 23, 2007) Pam and I had the chance to attend a Youth Praise Night in North Branch, Michigan at SS. Peter & Paul Parish. It began in a huge tent set up for the weekend parish festival and later moved indoors because of threatening thunder storms that rolled through the thumb region of Michigan. But the bad weather did not dampen the group's enthusiasm. The Michigan Catholic (Robert DeLaney) did pre-event coverage which you can read about HERE.

Fr. Rich Treml, pastor of the parish, told me he hoped the event will get the youth in the area, both Protestant and Catholic, excited about trusting Christ with their lives.

Fr. Treml's team invited Evangelical Nate Kreger's worship and praise band from a local Protestant church to lead off the night's activities. Leading those gathered in the tent in a long set of upbeat Gospel-Praise-Worship songs with an emphasis on a loud heavy beat, Nate and his team got the youth, and many of the adults dancing in the isles -- or at least bounding in front of their white plastic lawn chairs.

But what can't be missed are the words of the songs that remind us all that "God is an Awesome God" and to trust God with our entire life in everything we do.

Significantly, while the music took place outside and then in the church's sanctuary, a group of adults prayed before an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. As they prayed, they could look out from the chapel on the sanctuary's activities. Over the worship leaders, above the altar, is a beautifully wood-carved crucifix.

Leading the second set, inside the church, was the Saginaw Diocese Praise Team led by Catholic Evangelist Bill Richart. Bill has a website if you want to contact him, HERE.

I took heart at seeing parents bring their younger children to expose them to the enthusiasm that worshiping God should prompt in all of us.

Mass is mostly a time of quiet reverence, but David made loud, banging noise in the presence of God as his sacrifice of praise.

We can do the same.

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