A conversation with a young man.
I had a interesting conversation with a young man just the other day. And it broke my heart. This young man has been in the church for quite some time. I am going to change some personal information as to protect the person I am speaking about.
I went up and I asked this young man what Grade he was in. And let us say, he said the 8th grade. I asked him if there were other 8th graders at the church he went to. He answer was No. I asked him if since we are saying he is in 8th grade, if there were many middle school kids his age at the church he went to. His answer was no. I asked it if he liked going to the church he was going to, He said he hated it and would not come if he had the choice not to. I asked him if his Mom had been forcing him to come. He said – Yes and his only family too. I asked him why he hated it so much. He said I done this since I was a little kid. I said I was sorry to hear that. His reply, Yes. I than proceeded to tell this young man that I was going to pray that it was going to change for him. I was going to pray that instead of feeling like he was forced to come to the church he attended that he was going to have some much fun that he would be inviting his friends. He said Yes. I said I really mean it – you will be a priority in my prayer life. He said Yes.
On the present path – that young man is going to turn 18 and hate God and hate the church. The thing that breaks my heart is that this isn’t a kid who got mixed in with the wrong crowd and never went to church and hates God because he felt abandoned. No this is a kid who grew up in a church and hates God because he feels abandoned. He is going to have experienced what being a Christian is and does not want any part of it. To him I was a complete stranger and he had no problem telling me how he felt. Everyday the church struggles to get people in the door and this is what happens when they come in.
Is this happening in your church? Whitney Houston was well known in the eighty’s by one of the most famous lines in one of her songs – I believe the children are our future. Treat them right and some them the way. I couldn’t have said it better – any other way. Let us be real. Most churches say they care about the youth in their church, but usually where is the biggest need – it lies with the youth. And the people that do care are just thrown in there, usually with little or no training. And yet we wonder why kids like this young man happen. Jesus took time in his ministry to spend with the youth. In Matthew 14:13-14 (NIV) “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as thee.”” Is your church like the disciples who thought there were more important things than children, or is your church like Jesus who takes the time because he knows their importance?
Every precious child is a gift from God. I hope your church takes that just as serious as God does. And I ask that each one prays for this young man (don’t worry – God knows who he is) that God would change that heart. I truly believe that this young man has the ability to be a leader in his community – he just hasn’t been given a reason to be one.
Thank you and God Bless!