Sunday was our annual Youth Sunday extravaganza in church. Or more aptly described "Youth Director goes crazy trying to coax youth to pray/lead children's time/sing/speak in church" Sunday. I finally let things go about a week before. Didn't have a clue as to what would be said during Children's Time, didn't know who was going to pray at offering, didn't know if there would be enough people to usher and really didn't know what was going to be said by the one young lady doing her testimony. Wouldn't you know it all turned out just like God wanted it to?! Go figure.
In leading up to the morning, I spent a lot of time thinking about the statistics that have been thrown about lately. Those that say young people are leaving the church, leaving religion, and so on and so forth. I get frustrated with those surveys. Frustrated because they don't tell the whole story. For instance half of the young people that I work with have never been to church before because their parents don't go to church and no one else is taking them. Or how we graduate students out of the youth ministry program into "real life" and "real church" but don't offer them anything to help with that transition, just expect them to show up on Sunday morning and be a "real adult".
Last summer a very fabulous young woman and I went to a conference with a group from our church. Midway through the conference I asked her how her experience was. Her response? "I'm frustrated. I keep sitting in seminar after seminar and people expecting me to speak for my generation yet when I do, they dismiss what I have to say. I wonder why they want me to say anything if they don't want to hear what I have to say." I think this young woman has a lot to offer the world and know that God is working through her in incredible ways. Do I think that she might be one of the one's that walks away from the church? Yep. And it's not because of lack of faith in God or belief.
Today I'm thinking about my role as a Youth Director, as a Christ Follower in how I encourage the young people of today to hang with a church that is in desperate need of their wisdom and gifts...and thinking about how to relate that to a church that needs to hear it.