When we think that kids in a youth group setting are a-okay because they come from a stable Christian home, we do them a tremendous disservice and make them feel unworthy of being in the group. We're saying: "You're okay. You don't need our help. So just join us in helping this poor person over here."
These kinds of kids don't have needs? They don't have hurts or stresses or requests that are worthy of our prayers?
Why? Because they seem to have it all together?
I had a professor in university once who said that we are all on the edge of insanity. Some are probably closer than others. But he's right. Everything -- good and bad -- that we encounter every day goes into our psyches. The news, the people around us, a book we're reading, a movie we recently viewed, the argument of a neighbor....
When we focus all our energies on the seemingly "bad and needy" kids in the group, we may actually be ignoring those who are more needy. When we love the "popular" and more lovable kids and ignore the quiet and "less lovable" kids, in essence, we've pushed the latter away, telling them that they don't matter.
Our service is to God. He sent His Son to love the unpopular and unlovable, and yet he didn't ignore anyone.
He calls us to do the same: LOVE EVERYONE.
Everyone deserves attention.
When a young person asks for prayer at youth group, that's a huge thing. It means making him/herself vulnerable to the thoughts and opinions of the others. It's not an easy task to do it, and yet it builds a foundation for future occasions when prayer might be needed. If she is rejected as a kid why would she ever make herself vulnerable as an adult?
How many of these kinds of students are now among the "walking wounded" adults in our churches? How many left and never came back? If the place where God tells us to seek out help from fellow sinful men and women can reject us, ignore us, scoff at us, where can we go to find that kind of help and how can we ever trust mankind again?
Of course, we are told not to place our trust in man. God says to trust in Him and He will never let us down. But He does exhort us to "not give up meeting together." The old "spark and fire" story you heard in Sunday School.
Easy enough to do, right? How much harder that is to do in reality.
Challenge yourself to look for one seemingly normal soul at church and introduce yourself. Send a note of encouragement to someone you haven't seen in awhile. Ask someone who looks down if you can pray for them.
Become the people of GOD again...not the cheerleaders of the popular.