Youth

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Allow me ask a few questions about the young people of your congregation:

Do you know them (fairly) well?
Do you know which school they attend?
Or who their parents are?

… or how they get along with their parents?

… or whether they attend church (fairly) regularly?

… or whether they have problems, health issues...?

If you  are not proud of your answers, move over, I will join your company.

Let's agree that the adult generation should feel obliged to deeply care for a new generation growing up among us all. Those of you who are spiritual care-givers should feel that obligation even stronger.

Here's one thing I know of your church's young people: they face constant change. Change brings along pressure and uncertainty. Change necessitates choices. In all sorts of ways they must give an account of themselves. Change makes approval of friends and class-mates, very needed but also unpredictable. That's why change brings stress.

You as a care-giver cannot hope to directly stand next to your teenagers in their complicated lives.

But here's what you can do.

Make a list of the names of the teenagers and those a bit younger in your district. Memorize their names, the families they are from, and the schools they attend. See whether you can, somehow, append the names to faces. And when you recognize one at church events, say 'hello', mention the name, and ask how he/she are doing. Take already some humble pride: you did a wonderful thing!

You made contact. Multiply these gestures. Expand on these modest encounters. You find yourself talking with these young members! Remember what they told you. Pray for them.  The older generation reached out to the younger generation! These kids will remember! They will get a beginning of that feeling: we belong. For some this may well be a new experience.

Ultimately, of course, the ideal is that our young people will feel that they are known, loved and deeply cared for. The absence of that is probably the prime reason why, alas, many of our kids don't find church very important any more. (Matthew 19:13-15)

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Guide

Thanks for sharing this Louis. 

Participant

This is great! Thanks for sharing.