Youth Ministry

Back to School and Life

It is a beauitful evening tonight.  It has been incredibly hot in the midwest and we finally had some rain and a little relief today in the tempartures.  I’m sitting on deck enjoying the sounds of nature and a cool breeze. Wireless internet is so amazing…  Ha.  You thought I was going all nature on you.  Okay – that part is absolutely wonderful as well.

The youth are all officially back to school today. Some started last week but most went today.  I thought of them often throughout the day.  Wondering how they were doing, if they found someone to eat with in the cafeteria, if they knew anyone in their classes, if they were feeling insecure as they walked the hallways or entered a classroom.  That last one is a no brainer. The teenage years can be incredibly tough! It takes a lot of courage to walk into school every day or to deal with the harshness of peers that are eager to take you down a notch so that they feel better about themselves.  Many times adults sarcastically remark that it doesn’t get much better as adults.

But it does.  Or at least we have the ability to handle it better than when we were in high school.  To not take it personally.  To understand the reasons behind the way some adults treat others. To know that we don’t have to respond the same way we were treated. That comes from age and experience and wisdom.  Advantages we have.  For many teenagers, the younger ones imparticular, they are not yet developing that ability to look outside themselves and see things from another perspective. 

That is why they need caring and wise adults in their lives.  To help them during these challenging years of adolescence.  To guide them to look at things differently.  To develop a Christ-heart towards others.  To give them a different reaction than the world teaches to those who mock you or hurt you. 

Yet . . . it is hard to find adults who haven’t bought into the worldview. Young people watch adults around them and what do they see?  Often its the same thing they see in the hallway, in the locker room, or on their myspaces.  Personal competition, pettiness, gossip masked as prayer requests and Christian concern, restrained but poorly hidden joy at the falleness of another. 

The good is that our youth see that we all struggle with these things even adults. The temptation is always there. But with temptation we have a choice.  And only by God’s grace and strength can we choose the selfless road of Christ. And only by God’s grace can we ask and receive forgiveness when we fail

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