Monday, February 15, 2010

Oh yes, I do have an opinion

Jamie asked us to read this article over at 5 Conversations That You Must Have With Your Daughter Blog and then asked us what our thoughts were. Oh yes, I do have some thoughts.

My husband has been a Youth Pastor for 10 years and we have seen a lot of kids come through our church. These kids consist of traditional family homes, divorced, single-parent, grandparent, aunts/uncles, group homes, etc. We have come to the conclusion that if mom and dad profess to be Christians yet do not live it out in their lives the kids have a very slim chance of living it out themselves. They have been taught it really doesn't matter so it really doesn't matter to the kids. The exception has been when a kid from a non-believing home chooses to follow Christ. That situation is difficult for that child, but they are not getting conflicting messages at home - "do what I say, not what I do". I thought I give you some of the thoughts that parents have shared with us through the years.

"Make church fun so my kid wants to be here"
"Can you make church not so 'church-y'"
"Kids can't absorb Bible study after being in school all day, so just have fun"
"My kids need something 'deeper' than what you offer"

I love the "deeper" comment. More often than not that kid is on his way out the door and usually not to another church. The pattern usually goes like this: Discontent with our youth group, shops around for another for awhile, quits going to church all together.

Question: If your kid didn't like school would you give them the option of not going? If they wanted to join the basketball team but didn't want to run at practice would that be OK? If your kid wanted to drive but didn't want to follow traffic rules would the police let that go? There are some things in our culture that are non-negotiable like school and following the laws yet when it comes to Christianity we don't want to take the whole truth. I am not talking about church attendance, I am talking about living out our commitment to Christ. We as parents set the standard. I am reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan along side of The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer. This is not a new problem - Tozer's book was written in 1948. Both books state the same issue of not really being a committed follower of Christ.

It starts with us.


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Oh Jill, I could not agree with you more! As former youth leaders, we heard the same thing and felt the same way!

Jamie @ Six Bricks High said...

I knew you'd have an opinion on this matter :) And it happens to be one I agree with whole-heartedly!

P.S. I'm lovin' Crazy Love!

kim said...

I agree with you 100%. 100%!

Juli said...

Jill, I wish I had taken you to our youth parent meeting the other night!

I have been so convicted as of late to be the example my children need. Yet, I have been so discouraged by the "things" I see around me. I literally shook with sorrow at the meeting. There were so few parents there and the one's I expected to be encouraging and full of grace, I didn't believe were.

The bottom line, is I NEED people like you in Ron. I need our youth leaders and I am so discouraged when us as christian's tear them down and make their job so much harder. Do I think youth leaders are perfect? Absolutely not and this is exactly what we need.

I thank God for the godly people my children trust and I am sad when those people are discouraged and feel they need to look elsewhere.

Your post was excellent. Thank you for having an opinion!

Danni said...

Jill - good points! We've been more and more convinced lately that the church should be an appetizer, or side dish - not the main course of our kids spiritual lives! God's been speaking to me about my job as a mom being raising up men and women after His heart...
I totally agree with you!

Mel said...

Passing this one on to our Youth Pastor. I believe the Lord is speaking similar things to his heart also...which usually means when many are hearing the same thing that it is something the Lord is speaking to His Church! Amen Sister!

Tricia said...

I'm reading Crazy Love to and find it very convicting and an encouragement keep running the race set before me.

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