What a Lit Candle Can Mean to Students

Kara Powell

A few months ago, I spent some time with some great folks from the United Methodist Conference in Tennessee, unpacking our Sticky Faith research.  As is always the case when I get to rub shoulders with youth leaders, I came away both inspired and impressed.

One of the really great ideas I gleaned came from Julie, an experienced parent and youth leader.  She mentioned that in the midst of Prom season, she takes time during youth group to light a candle and pray with students for the choices they will be making during Prom festivities.  Not only does she do this at youth group, but she also takes the candle home and lights it on the night of her students’ Proms.  She lets it burn all night, and as she wakes up periodically in the middle of the night, that candle reminds her to pray for her students. 

If that isn’t cool enough, get this:  her students KNOW she is lighting this candle and praying for them.  How would you like to be a high school senior at Prom, knowing your youth leader is thinking about you? 

Events like Prom and Homecoming give us as parents and leaders the chance to let our students know we are praying for them.  In the midst of those windows when important decisions are made, how can you let kids you care about know that you are praying for them?


Published Oct 17, 2011
Kara Powell

Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. As a youth ministry veteran of over 20 years, she serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women You Should Know", Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Sticky Faith, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.

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