This past Sunday was Mother’s Day… which at FCC means, youth service! It’s been a bit of a tradition that every Mother’s Day the youth take over. They help with AV, announcements, offering, greeting, worship (which was awesome), and they let me preach, or “share” as I like to call it.
We had a wonderful service where we honored our women with roses, congratulated our graduates, and worshiped our Lord. While we had a number of youth moving up from Jr. High to High School, we had three of our graduating Seniors on hand to celebrate with on Sunday: Sarah Warren, Anna Wietharn, and Megan Wright. We will sincerely miss these gals as they head to college… and one is even going half way around the world!
During our “sharing” time we took another look at the end of Matthew 28, typically referred to as the great commission. These verses are often used to discuss overseas missions and outreach, but for Mother’s Day we applied these verses to our own homes. Each parent, each mother, has the responsibility of disciplining her own child or children. By the time your kids are 18, will they be prepared to head off to college, to enter the work force, to be a productive member of society? More importantly will they be ready to leave home with a firm grounding in Truth, an idea of what a personal relationship with our Lord looks like, and a faith that will see them through new trials and temptations?
Somewhere along the way, the church at large has failed in this preparation. According to the article, “3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave The Church,” roughly 75% of kids who are active in their churches and claim to have a personal relationship with Christ, will cease attending church, and distance themselves from Christianity by the time they are in their 20’s. – that number is heartbreaking.
The first trait of a youth who continues actively serving in a church and maintains a vibrant relationship with this lord is that they are converted. The Lord isn’t after good kids, but Christian kids. Youth, kids, children… this part is on you. Have you taken everything you’ve learned in Sunday School, Church, and Youth Group and applied it to your lives? Have you made it your own? Have you let the Lord wash you clean and lead your lives? I pray so.
The second traits is they these young adults were equipped, not entertained. This idea should give each of us in a teaching position pause. Sunday School teachers, youth leaders, and youth volunteers do you understand the vast importance of your jobs? Your callings? The time you spend prepping your lesson, the prayer you put into your class, the interactions you facilitate, the Truth you share are all vital components to our kids and youth being equipped with eternally valuable information. Remember, it’s easy to entertain… but we must passionate equip.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, each of these 20-somethings had their parents preach the gospel to them at home. It is almost impossible for our church to send out Christ loving guys and gals if everything we’ve talked about is not being reinforced at home, tenfold. Youth, Sunday School, and even Sunday Morning services should act as supplementary teachings to the Truth and examples being taught at home.
Let’s just do the math, if a youth were to be active in youth Group, Sunday School, and Church they would be sitting under Biblical teaching or at least in a Christ centered environment for roughly 4.5 per week. How many hours a week do you parents get to interact with your children?
We need kids that make real commitments to the Lord. We need youth leaders and Sunday school teachers that are passionately scattering the seeds of Truth.
Finally, we need parents that are sharing the Word and living our their faith, daily, with their children.
Are you being everything that the Lord has called you to be? I pray that you are, because Godly parenting certainly seems to have eternal value.