In under a week, you teens will be heading to the Feast with your parents. You are probably really excited about this; the Feast is a wonderful time of year. Perhaps you have some friends from pyc you are going to meet up with; perhaps you are going to a new place that you’ve never visited before; perhaps you have some exciting activities planned.
But while you are rejoicing at the Feast, don’t forget this: Your example has an impact. Not just on you or on the other brethren at the Feast—but on the other people around your Feast site.
At the Feast last year, staff at the venue where we held the teen activity in Columbus, Ohio, were extremely complimentary about our teens. One of them said, “The group was the most happy and well-behaved crowd I have ever had!”
What would the Feast be like if there were no teens—no young people? It would be incomplete. Deuteronomy 16:14 tells us, “And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.” This command to rejoice at the Feast clearly includes teens. You are a vital part of the Feast! And you also play a vital role in the success of God’s Feast. Your conduct—your example—can really contribute to making this the best Feast ever.
In a few short years, you are going to be used to teach the world! The Feast is one wonderful way that God uses to educate us in how to become those teachers. That’s the mindset we should have going into the Feast.
So how can you make this the best Feast ever—not just for you, but for everyone else? Here are three practical points:
1. Take the best notes ever.
When I was a teen, I sat next to another friend at the Feast, and we had a little competition to see who could take the most pages of notes in a sermon. Quantity is not always quality, however, and what really counts is going over your notes afterward to get the knowledge ingrained in your mind. But realize: We will hear five to six hours of instruction from God’s apostle. We will hear another 15 hours of spiritual knowledge from other ministers. That’s a lot of instruction in just a few days! Make it a goal not to miss a single scripture. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Really take advantage of this opportunity to listen to instruction from God.
2. Serve your parents and others.
Make it a goal to make this Feast easy for your parents. Your behavior—whether good or bad—has a big impact on your parents and how much they can enjoy the Feast. Many of your parents will be serving in various capacities at the Feast. Your dad might be on security, or he might be a minister who has messages to prepare; your mom might be in the choir. If you have younger siblings, offer to babysit them so your parents don’t have to worry about it. You could even, with your parent’s permission, offer to babysit other people’s children as well.
If you are a younger sibling or an only child, you have your part too. Make sure to follow all of the rules: the rules from your parents, the rules of the Feast site, and the overarching rules of God’s law. Set a good example—the best example you can. This applies even in the little things: opening doors, smiling at the brethren and the staff, being polite, stepping up in conversation. Remember that God praises the Philadelphians because they fellowship a lot (Malachi 3:16).
3. Spread yourself around in fellowship.
As a teen, it is far too easy to simply stay with the people you already know—perhaps your family, or the few teens you are friends with from pyc or your local area. Don’t keep yourself from developing friendships! If you do, it’s your loss. Find new teens and introduce yourself.
Talk to the elderly brethren. At most Feast sites, 1 out of every 3 to 4 people is a senior citizen—and they love talking to you. Meet brethren that you don’t know, and try to get to know the ministry as well. The Feast is family time; get to know your spiritual family!
In “The Wonderful World for Youth,” Stephen Flurry wrote, “What will you be doing in the Millennium? And what preparations do you need to be making right now for what lies ahead? God expects great things from the young Philadelphians” (Trumpet, November 1991, emphasis added).
God expects great things from you at this Feast. Will you show these positive, bountiful fruits?
As you travel to the Feast this year, think about these points, and don’t forget your important responsibility in making this the best Feast ever.