In Matthew 7:7, Jesus tells us that “Seek and you will find.” I’m glad that’s true no matter who or where we are.

As a youth pastor, youth lock-ins always brought stories. There was never enough pizza or the hot banana peppers in the pizza box (our church kids loved those). There weren’t enough X-Box (video game) controllers. What little sleep was always crazy as kids want to talk, or then sleep all over the floor. Playing games or explaining the Bible at 3 am is always interesting. And trying to wake kids to go home when they put pews together for a bed—good luck!

But beyond the stories—God showed up on those Friday nights. Many times I admit bringing in speakers or making plans, and I didn’t know what I was doing or how it would turn out. But I would pray. And God was good to show up when youth sought God. One lock-in youth service, we were just singing songs and youth started weeping before God. God showed up and did a real saving change on young lives. After the message, the speaker prayed for several and God continued to touch many.

Another speaker we had was a teacher with a totally different style, but God used that teaching in a powerful way to draw the youth in to finding Jesus.

In all the different lock-ins, different styles of speakers, and goofy times, God proves He is real to those who seek Him. Seeing that makes all the lack of sleep and any other difficulties in ministry worth it many times over.

In these last days, we may not understand youth in our lives, but we keep seeking God and encouraging our youth to do so also.