“I want to start an organization that helps young kids because young people need the most help,” was the insight of a bright, 14 year old, male Vacation Bible School student who has survived drug abuse, homelessness, promiscuous relationships, and intentional overeating. “I remember talking to God because I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I kept on doing it and nobody stopped me.” Too many of our children are looking in the wrong places for meaning and purpose and there are not enough adults around to care about their well-being or investing in their souls because we are too busy building things that do not matter – churches, careers, legacies, and reputations. Our children are crying out for help and they are not finding the answers they need to endure life’s storms.
Sometimes we wrongly believe that we are being intentional about our children’s spiritual development by placing them on the Junior Usher Board, Youth Choir, and in Children’s Church, but often these auxiliaries are not teaching them how to apply biblical truth to their lives in a way that makes sense and is practical. Not to mention, instead of teaching our youth how to study the bible inductively, we often opt for colorful, entertaining materials that reinforce the disconnect between the reality of life and what we are offering in some of our churches. In the classes I teach, I am bombarded with questions like: “Where was God when my daddy was choking my mother?” “Why did my mother have to be raped?” “If God is always with me, why do I feel so alone?” “How can God ever love me when I have done so many bad things to so many people?”
The profundity of these questions scream the need for us to put the substance back into our training in order to aid our young people to stand against the wiles of the devil. Furthermore, if we encourage them to ask the tough questions and seek the scriptures to see what God says about the situation, then it would be possible to ignite a passion for Christ that could spread for generations and change our world. Church buildings are temporal. Careers become obsolete. Legacies are rarely seen while alive. And, reputations can be tarnished in an instant. But, helping others to build a genuine relationship with Christ is eternal.
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end” (Psalm 119:33).