In Luke 15, Jesus tells a story about a flock of 100 sheep + their shepherd. He explains that when one sheep wanders off from the rest, the shepherd notices its absence and then leaves the other 99 to get that 1 back. To me, 99% seems like a pretty good success rate; but a good shepherd doesn’t care about statistics, he cares about his sheep.
There are 99 kids in this photo, which is _a lot_ of kids. I know the name of, like, four kids in this crowd, but Jesus knows them all by name. And in crowds more massive than this, they’ll never go unseen or overlooked.
Tonight these 99 got placed as Young Life leaders all across the city of Columbus. In a way, they became modern-day shepherds. They will spend money on gas to drive to neighborhoods where they’ll coach lacrosse or work at Starbucks so that they might find the 1. And when they do, they’ll remind him that even in the most massive crowd, he’s never unseen or overlooked. He’s known by name and has a place where he belongs back with the flock.