By Josh Jones, Missoula YFC

Having enjoyed many “cult classics” through the years, I recently gave the ‘Breakfast Club’ another shot.

There are many times after movies that I have wished I could just have those two hours of my life back, and honestly ‘BC’ is not an exception. During the movie my inner youth minister cried out for something, some significance to my wasted time. Then it hit me. One scene of the entire film….
Somehow my time would be justified. The movie is filled with surface relationships, assumptions, judgment, sex, drugs and swear words and then suddenly out of nowhere… connection.

The kids sat in a circle and began to share their lives with one another. There was no adult leader present, no requirement to open up. There were simply hours of space and the shared experience of Saturday detention. The depth of the conversation was emotional. The characters related to each other, listened intently and grew in friendship.

We know what it feels like to know the stories of students. What would happen if they knew each other’s stories? This movie demonstrated to me that intentional relationship doesn’t just happen because we are paid to do it- The youth we work with and the world we live in are drawn to relationships.

YFC summers give us amazing opportunities to not just connect to our youth, but to connect them to each other.  Small groups are the perfect place to see this in action. It doesn’t have to be programmed, it doesn’t even have to be led, it will naturally happen. What we need to do is facilitate the opportunities, the shared experience, the hours of space without technology to see it to fruition.

Giving students an opportunity to connect with each other may give them a perspective, a worldview that cannot be taught; one only heard in each other’s stories. As they relate to each other you might see growth that you wouldn’t see any other way. When they discover it themselves, we get a finish like the movie.
“You see us as you want to see us - in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a athlete...a basket case...a princess...and a criminal...Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

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