Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stop Blaming the Youth

I have been working in VBS all week.  It is 3 hours a night for an entire week.  It's more like 4 hours per night because there is also set up and clean up after the actual VBS.  After working a regular 8-9 hour day, to say I am completely exhausted would be an understatement. 

Peeps, if you've know me, you should know by now that I'm a born again Christian.  Jesus Christ?  My Lord and Savior.  Yep.  This by no means makes me perfect, good, or better than anyone else.  But I am serious about my faith.  Most of my social life revolves around the church I attend.  Bible study, Sunday school, and community events are usually church oriented.  So even though I am not a fan of VBS, I did it anyway.  One, because if Jesus can die on a cross for my sins, I guess I can give up one week of my lazy evenings to be salt and light.  Two, because when you work in children's ministry, VBS is part of that.

My son received a phone call this morning from our youth pastor (who, by the way, is an awesome guy and I am so glad he and my son are friends!)   Someone complained that a bunch of teenagers destroyed the nursery and left it for staff to clean up.  I was on the phone, listening while my son tried to tell the pastor what had happened (which is, basically, that the toddlers destroyed the room, and the teenagers were attempting to clean it) and all I could do was listen to my son defend myself.

Yeah, I got upset.

Dear older church people (meaning, anyone older than 40, unless you became a fuddy duddy before then):  STOP BLAMING THE YOUTH.

You complain about youth who won't attend church?  Do you ever wonder why?  Do you think it's because that even in a place that is supposed to be accepting, and loving, and ministering, all they get is more accusations?  Do you wonder why your church has an average age of 65+?  If that is the case, your church is dying.  Today's youth has SO MUCH stacked against them.  Nothing they say is ever private anymore.  Drugs are rampant, families are broken, schools are a wasteland.  So many kids go to church, just to find themselves outcasts there, too.  Why stay?  Why stay in a place where adults get on stage and preach about love and hope and then get off that stage and start pointing fingers?

My son is discouraged.  He doesn't want to go back to VBS.  He'd rather stay home and watch a movie.  I can't imagine why.

One person, one person who thought it would be a fine idea to call the pastor and complain about something he or she didn't even see, can ruin months of my trying to get my kids to volunteer.  All of my encouragement, all of my reassurements, were broken in one false accusation.

Without the youth, your church is going to die.  People either need to accept the youth who still bother to attend, or their church will die.  Now you know.


Anonymous said...

Oh boy can I relate! The very same thing is happening at my church. I'm sad to say that we just don't attend anymore :-(

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

You are so right. I am sorry this happened to your son. Praying that there can be some softning of hearts and acceptance of the youth - not only at your church but all churches.
Lisa :O)

Sarah R said...

That is really sad, Anon. I hope you can eventually find a place where you can worship in peace. And Amen to that, Lisa. Couldn't agree more.