They waited and waited. Olly had promised to come to the stage door but it was getting later and later. One girl checked her phone. It beeped reluctantly at her. To her horror, a thin red line shone in the top right-hand corner. ‘8 per cent’ it read. She shouldn’t have wasted the battery playing Olly Bieberlake videos on YouTube. She tapped her friend on the shoulder. “Hey, Cheryl, can I borrow your phone when Olly comes out? My battery’s dead.”

Her friend looked at her, frowning. “No way, Jay! You’ll spend all your time fumbling with the zoom and neither of us will get any decent selfies!”

Cheryl looked past Jay and pointed. “Isn’t that your dad’s car over there? Maybe he’s got a charger and you can plug it in.”

“OK, great idea,” said Jay. “Listen, if he comes out while I’m away, delay him until I get back.”

“How am I meant to do that?” asked Cheryl. But Jay was already legging it back to her dad’s car.

Suddenly, the stage door burst open and Olly Bieberlake appeared. “Hey, everyone! It’s far too cold out here. Let’s go onto the stage and you can take all the selfies you like!”

The girls surged through the door, almost knocking over Bieberlake’s burly security guard. It wasn’t long before everyone, including Cheryl, was inside and the guard shut the door. A minute later, Jay careered across the car park, her dad’s mobile in hand.

“Wait! Wait!” cried Jay. “Let me in!” She banged her fist against the closed stage door.

The security guard poked his head round the door.

“Oh, great!” said Jay. “Let me in, will you?”

The guard shook his head. “Nope. Only those here when Mr Bieberlake came out are allowed in.” He slammed the door shut once more.

Jay turned sadly back towards her dad’s car. Home they went to a phone charger and Cheryl’s Instagram feed, full of Olly Bieberlake.


Ask the young people these questions:

  • Should Cheryl have lent Jay her phone?
  • What would you have done if you were Cheryl? Or if you were Jay?
  • Was it fair that Jay wasn’t let back into the venue?
  • What does this story tell us about being ready? Is it possible to be ready all the time?

This story is based on Matthew 25:1-13. Read the passage with the group and compare it with this one. Discuss what Jesus might be saying through his story.