Wednesday, January 15, 2014

POndering On: Youth and a Christian Commuity.....

There is an issue within the church that has been worrying me for quite a while now.  
I simply don't understand why it seems that everything else is more important than church in today's society. I've talked about it, complained about it really, with my husband and our associate pastor several times.  

I am reading a book called Family Based Youth Ministry by Mark DeVries.
The way youth are viewed in society has changed and this book challenges the church to bring youth back into the life of their church and to put the church back into the life of it's youth.
There are many many things to ponder in this book.
Much to think on, chew on, and work on.
I'm a little over halfway through the book.

Today,  I started a chapter about how there is an undercurrent to the youth culture of today's society that pulls the kids we work with along and a lot of the time they aren't even aware of it.
One of these undercurrents is The Conformity of Individualism.  
Growing to be an individual IN Christ is different than this individualistic culture.  

 God calls us to be in community with one another.
 Disciples are built within the community of the church.
Individualistic Christians  don't buy into the need to be a part of a Christian community.
They are the ones who say "I don't need to go to Church to be a Christian."

DeVries talks about what would happen if a football coach ran his program the way most youth ministries are run.  Saying things like "We will miss you, Hope you can make it next time." when a youth says they are too busy to come to practice.  Or, practically begging them to come back to the next thing when they leave.  Or apologizing and promising changes when a parent calls and say their kids think football is boring.  

That wouldn't fly in any football program that I know of..... why is it allowed in our Churches?
When becoming a Christian and a true disciple of Christ. This chapter was speaking directly to my worries.  

DeVries says this:  
"To expect that youth be committed  to the church to the same level of commitment that would be expected of them on an athletic team would draw the charge of legalism and insensitivity"

He is right. And it is for that reason that I respond just like every other church employee and say it's ok if you can't come.  Just join us next time.  
Please come back next week..

But, I can't help to think I am doing everyone a dis-service in some ways.  
Growing your faith within the community of faith who can love you, stand up for you, stand up WITH you,  hold you accountable, teach you, or pick you up with you fall.

Now I'm pondering how to change the way I do things.
This book has confirmed that my concerns aren't unfounded, but how to fix it?

What do you think about it all?  
Can I fix it?

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