It was just another Sunday morning as students began to gather in the UC-303 lobby at BelPres, chat with friends, or find a seat in the café to play Bananagrams as they eagerly awaited the hour that lay ahead. On this particular Sunday, the program was going to look a little different for the Middle and High School students.
Rather than listening to a talk by one of our fearless Family Life Ministry leaders and breaking into small groups, the students had the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with Dr. Scott Dudley during which he answered both faith-based and personal questions that they had written the week before.
The session began by quickly introducing Scott, followed by a snapshot of his story of becoming a Christian, and later, a pastor. Next, to ensure Dudley was truly awake, he was hit with a lightning round of questions, during which he had a mere three seconds to answer each question. This round’s questions ranged from, “What is the score of the Super Bowl going to be?,” to, “What’s your favorite dessert?,” and, “What would you do in a zombie apocalypse?” Needless to say, the kids had lots of fun coming up with questions to ask their Senior Pastor.
While there were plenty of entertaining, lighthearted questions, the students were also curious about things that dove deeper into faith and required more complex answers. After the lightning round, we transitioned into a time of these deeper questions. Scott proceeded to give answers to questions regarding violent video games, sharing your faith in tangible ways, and addressing if the Bible has lost anything in translation and its relevance in our modern world.
This was a special time for the students to have the Senior Pastor come and speak directly to them, make them laugh, think, and feel recognized as valuable members of the larger congregation.
The students’ reactions were unanimous: they loved hearing from a man that they greatly respect, and the time left them wanting more. High School student Henry Gilchrist commented, “It was actually really cool. I wish we could hear him speak more at youth group. I certainly have more things I want to ask now.” It was apparent that the students appreciated the time Scott spent at the Upper Campus with them. “I liked how he came up here and just hung out,” said Sophie Schroth. In addition to his wisdom and knowledge in answering their questions, the students appreciated the honesty and openness that he brought to the conversation, which left them feeling like they know their pastor in an authentic way.
Student Mick Larsen summed it up pretty well, “It was good to get his insight because he is a big leader here. Great to hear how he became a Christian and how amazing God is.”