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How?

December 9, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deut 6:4-9

The commands here are pretty famous.  The movement toward these commands are what is needed.  Check out the D6 Conference for some cool stuff going on there, by the way.  

But what about those kids and teenagers whose parents don’t take an interest in church?  I ask this for two reasons:

  1. Last night at YoungLife, there was an incident where a boy tried to leave early.  When the students come in, they’re told at the door that if they come in, they can’t leave until everyone is dismissed – it’s not getting pizza and leave, but it’s pizza, short devo (which was awesome last night) and then they can leave.  This kid wasn’t happy about that, so he bolted.  Broke a door, on and on.  As it happened, I just got sick.  I was on edge.  I was looking at all of these kids who were there and seeing so many of them who, like the door, were broken, shattered, on the ground in pieces, and were just getting swept up and thrown away.  Where were the parents that I grew up with in a time like this for these kids?  My parents were always there and I don’t ever remember a time where I questioned where they were.  
  2. Our church brings in about 30 children, 6th grade and down, to our Wednesday night program on the bus.  How many times have we seen the parents?  Wow, I don’t know!  One Sunday a mom walked in the church and wanted to find out what time her daughter would be home on the bus because she had to go to Wal-Mart and wanted to make sure she would be home.  Kudos for the precautions, but as she left, I really wanted to run after her and say, “Adults are welcome, too!”  So these kids are coming to church on their own will, without parents who have anything to do with church!

Today, I sit in my office and I look at all of these things and I just feel overwhelmed.  How do you reach the kids whose parents aren’t setting the Biblical example?  These kids who are hardened, broken, individuals who just don’t seem to care?  How do you reach these children who go home, and for all we know, get pushed to the side, don’t get hugged goodnight, and battle with their parent’s attention with drugs and alcohol?  

To put a spin on it, how do you reach the teens and children whose parents might be Christians, but they set the example by being lukewarm and not putting much emphasis on the importance of church and one’s relationship with God?  What are the proper steps to take?  How do you reach families?  Sometimes I feel as though maybe I get so caught up in YOUTH ministry that I forget the church doesn’t assign people to minister to an individual age group – we should be ministering to families.  How do we go back in time and fix habits?  How do we change the lukewarm to someone who is boiling?  How do we take out the apathy and replace it with overwhelming concern for the cause of Christ?

Just a few questions I know I’ll begin to figure out…when?  I don’t know, but I hope it’s soon.  People are hurting, and they just need to be reached by someone who cares about them…  Sometimes, you just need someone to rub your back.

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