Yesterday was "Senior Sunday" at Highland as we recognized and challenged our 48 high school seniors. A few thoughts: 1. Years ago as we called off their names, we listed all their honors from high school. I never liked that. Some kids had lots of things to mention; others didn't. But why should church be a place where once again someone without all the honors feels left out? Now, we don't even mention those. We're proud of all such honors, and hopefully people have told them so through the years. But on Senior Sunday we tell how they each responded to two questions: Who at Highland has had a profound impact on your faith? What are your favorite memories in the youth group? 2. For almost every senior, something is mentioned about trips. I'd say the majority say, "My favorite part of being in the youth group was going to Mexico." "Faith cometh by hearing" (Rom. 10:17, KJV)? Well, that's true. But faith also cometh by doing -- by participating in the work of God in this world! You might think they'd talk about ski trips or camping trips. Both are wonderful. But it's the time when they go work in the hot sun to build a church building and when they encounter genuine poverty that they remember. 3. I kept hearing the name of Marti O'Rear come up. All those years later (they left her children's ministry seven years earlier!), and they still remember how this amazing woman nurtured their faith--especially in the musicals. 4. Senior-after-senior kept mentioning how Sarah, who only became a full-time youth minister in January, had helped lead them to faith. And someone pointed out that she'd been with them since they were in sixth grade (as an intern). Was she fourteen at the time? (Sheesh, I'm getting old.) 5. I love seeing our huddle leaders up there hugging every senior as they receive their Bible. What a privilege for these students to have been mentored by three such godly, fun couples. But you know what? Try to thank them, and they'll all tell you this: "Hey, we got more out of it than we gave." There is a certain "perk" to being a huddle leader: Your own children have older mentors who are almost part of the family. One of the things you pray for as a parent is for older role models, and this way it's almost guaranteed. 6. I love this Sunday each year. It reminds me how important community is. It reminds me how every lesson taught, every card of encouragement sent, every word spoken in the atrium, every sermon preached matters! 7. My favorite moment was when Jim read one young man's response to "my favorite memory at Highland." I've known him since he was four, so I shouldn't have been surprised. But his favorite memory has been timing the prayers of the elders each week to see who prays the longest. I just didn't see that one coming. And I could hardly bring myself under control. Precious memories come in many different forms.