Perhaps we never really challenge our kids. Maybe we set the bar so low so that any kid can reach it, undermining their capability and God’s capability to work through them. (Like, be thrilled that they just showed up. And that’s it).
Everyone who has a child is concerned, and rightfully so, of their children’s future. Parents have worked to the bones, with blood, sweat and tears to insure their children’s future. We all want to make sure that our kids get every opportunity to get the best education possible.
But what about when it comes to their spiritual future?
A survey was taken by parents who have teenagers, and this survey found that parents were comfortable in talking about sexuality with their teenage children than spirituality.
Korean parents, in a very general statement, want their kids to be doctors and lawyers. I’ve spent countless hours with kids who resented the pressure placed by their parents to ace the SATs and to pursue a life in the medical field. These parents have dreams of what their kids might be.
But, what about how these kids will be when they grow up?
We ask questions like “what do you want to be when you grow up?” But never really on “how do you want to be when you grow up?” Or “what kind of person you want to be when you grow up?”
And I don’t know, but isn’t the church one of the best places in shaping a kid in how they will be when they grow up? To build their lives with the foundation of love, grace and mercy from God and to teach them to show the same love, grace and mercy that they have been given by God?
The problem many of us in Youth Ministry (particularly in our denomination) are facing with their youth ministry, in my humble opinion, boils down to this: We are (were?) stuck in the mentality of entertaining the youth. And the problem with entertaining youth into the Kingdom is that you have to continue to entertain them to keep them in the Kingdom. And kids get bored real fast. So we as youth pastors have put the Gospel on the back burner and instead, we strain ourselves coming up with new and exciting ways to make sure the kids have fun. And we find that kids grow up real fast and mature fast, and it’s hard to keep up with their mental and physical growth. The kids, now, with no biblical foundation, look at the church, and remember, oh yea, that used to be fun, but I’m too old for that now.
Are some of us afraid to really challenge the kids to be disciples of Christ and not just mere attenders of church?
There are times where I worried that they won’t get it. And have constantly learn to never under estimate the kids of our church. Or more like, never under estimate what God can do with the lives of those who seek Him.
I’m not saying let’s get rid of fun in youth ministry. That’s impossible. And not smart. But, let’s challenge these kids to live as if they have a personal stake in this thing we call faith. Let’s challenge ourselves and our kids and our church members to live out our faith in such a way that it demands explanation from those around us.