A couple of years ago we started a program called F4J. Friday’s for Jesus is the real name. One Friday night a month, we have a youth led service followed by fun and games. It is always a lot of fun and all the kids that provide the message do a phenomenal job. Last December, we had two youth provide the message, one was a senior in High School named Josh, and the other was a sixth grader named Casey.
Josh has provided many great messages over the years but on this particular night, Casey shined. As she started to deliver her message, I was amazed by her poise, concentration, deliver, and preparation. The message was about the season of Advent, and Casey had taken a lot of time to prepare her message. It was concise and to the point. I can remember walking away from that thinking that with the power and conviction that she delivered her message with, you would never believe that she was just a sixth grader.
Casey has always had a maturity about her that was years above her actual age. She holds herself to a level above others her own age. We added Casey to our Youth Leadership Team as a sixth grader. She is only one of two youth that have accomplished that since I have been at the church.
Casey has grown up at our church and I can remember when I tore my calf muscle two years ago, before she was even in youth group, getting a huge hand drawn get well soon card from her. Her heart has always been in the right place. I knew when she got to youth group that she would be such a positive and thoughtful addition. Throughout her year as part of the youth group she has delivered F4J messages, created slide show presentations, gone on every trip we have offered, and attend youth group regularly. She has made church a priority in her life and that is something that I wish I could get all of my youth to do.
Last December, we celebrated the Advent season. My celebration of Advent last year started with the message that Casey provided. She truly understood and articulated what the season is all about. As we celebrated the coming birth of Jesus Christ our savior, we also celebrated the coming of age story of a sixth grade youth. Casey will provide leadership for many more years to come. I will always remember that advent season, what a truly magnificent way to remember the birth of a leader. I want to thank you Casey for your love and devotion to Jesus, your church, and your youth group!