I can’t even tell you how much I love the article I am linking to in this post.
Having observed my husband pour his heart, goofiness, and musical talent into youth for more than a decade and having watched our dear friend and longtime youth pastor (turned lead pastor) pour his life into so very many kids during his tenure at our church, I have seen firsthand what it means to teens when adults take them seriously.
And it means a lot.
Teens need us to see their intrinsic value.
When we welcome their input, they are valued.
When we do not ignore their questions, they are valued.
When we take time out of our lives to teach them and encourage them, they are valued.
When we do not belittle the challenges they face, they are valued.
When we see them as an integral, indispensable part of the church, they are valued.
(The best kind of adults are the ones can do all these things and also enjoy a cut-throat game of dodgeball. At least, that’s what I believe from a boy mom perspective.)
I urge you to read this article by Shane Stacey, EFCA’s National Director of ReachStudents. And don’t just read it. Read it and think about your opinion of youth ministry and consider whether or not that opinion needs to be tweaked.
1 Timothy 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.