My good friend who is a teacher at a Christian school in the city has asked me to speak at his high school’s assembly in a few weeks. It is quite an honour to be asked to share at an event like this but at the same time it is quite scary because I’ve never spoken to a high school before.
So here is where I need your help. I have been told that there is a lot of freedom to talk about anything pretty much, and that I have anywhere from 10-30 minutes.
I’m preparing to head out to Africa with my family in a Gospel sharing capacity, and there is a group from the school going on a short term cross cultural trip next semester. So the obvious conclusion is that it would be a good opportunity to talk about mission, evangelism, the world, or something like that.
However I’ve also been struck by the fragility of life, or the shortness of it (even if we live to 90) and the invincibility that we as young people think we have. And so I’m quite passionate sharing about how we only have one life and how important it is not to waste it but to commit it wholeheartedly to the God given dreams we have (obviously I would want to focus on those Jesus shaped dreams that we have).
The thing is, I’m not too sure what would help or inspire high school aged kids. Would talking about the shortness of life help them, or talking about mission and the world out there help? Would it help if I sung a High School Musical number?
This is where I would really appreciate your help, cast your mind back to your high school years, for some that is a long way back for others that was yesterday. What message would you have liked to hear back then? What do you wish someone would have told you back then that would have helped you through those years and into the future. If only someone had told me that…? I look forward to what you have to say.
2 thoughts on “High School Musical”
Things I would have liked to hear in High School:
It’s ok to be different. In fact, one day, you will be valued and affirmed for it.
Stand up for what you believe in. You may stand alone at times, but have courage.
I guess being a Christian school, you could talk about Imago Dei kind of stuff – once I grasped this concept, even a little bit, it was quite radical for me. All those things about myself I didn’t like or struggled with became less relevant in the concept of who I was made to be, and how affirming the concept of being made in the image of God is.
Or, in keeping with the missions theme, one of my “pet” topics is the attitude of ‘whites in shining armour’ that seems so prevelant amongst today’s youth and Christians. This was talked about quite a bit in our aid and development unit – our assumption that just because we live in a western, successful world, and just because we are Christians, we have all the answers to the issues of poverty and injustice. But as we know, good intentions aren’t enough, and a lot of damage can be done with this mindset. I see many people going on short term missions honestly thinking they are going to change the lives of the people theyre going to errm, mission to, if not the whole community. It boggles my mind how we can think this. Maybe you could encourage the students to see missions as a way to be informed about the world they live in, to start changing the things they do at home that contribute to injustice and oppression (there are so many things they coukd do), and if they want to change the world, go and study and be trained in something useful and learn about aid and development, and be prepared for a long term committment (beyond a 2 week voluntourism trip).
All the best!!
Brilliant stuff Jess, this will definitely help me. I think that it’s real important to know that God loves diversity and being different is a good thing. So often we want to be like others to be accepted or fit in, but really we can be free to be different, but the reality is it does cost.
Mission yeah that is a real problem with how we as western Christians frame or view the world. White crusaders here to save the poor rest of the world.
You’ve given us a lot to think about. Thanks