About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Church of Tomorrow??

Sometimes I hear a phrase that makes me cringe a bit. It is said by the most sincere people with the best of intentions but somehow it always strikes me a bit wrong.
It goes something like this, "our youth are the church of tomorrow".
I don't buy it. Not for a minute.
Oh I know what they mean ... that our youth will one day be the people who run the church. That they'll be the one's making things happen. (The idea that any human would do that is a little frightening to me - but I trust you know what I mean.)
Me, I firmly believe that the youth are actually the church of today. The reasons I believe this are many.

For one thing, churches with no youth, or even very very few youth, ususally die. Not just a physical death when the older folks pass on, but a real spiritual death. Who wants to go to a church with no young people? Maybe some old geezer who wants to be left alone in peace but frankly, if someone feels that way I don't want to go to their church.
Another thing about youth is that they still believe that they can change their world. And they can. Some of us grown-ups have grown weary from our daily obligations or cincial from our attempts at change that failed that we no longer even hope for something better. We are just satisfied to move along and accept that things are just the way they are.

But youth are not like that. They have hope, enthusiam, and oh yes, the energy to make a difference in their world.
They also possess more power and influence than we realize. Maybe even more than they realize. If they decided to do something awesome, they could.
I've also noticed that youth have an amazing ability to be honest. In fact, they seem to prefer honesty to pretending to be something you're not. I like that. I think it's a spiritual necessity to be honest. As we get older we something find out that being honest got us hurt and so we hold back in fear. Youth aren't like that yet. It's my prayer and hope that they will retain that honesty and not "grow up" into pious people who have to pursuade others that they are spiritual. I hope they never learn to lie about who they are because I like who they are even if they aren't perfect and don't always get it right. None of us do.
We have an awesome bunch of youth at our church. They may well be my favorite thing about our church. Check them out at the Omega Youth web site. They are perfect kids. But I respect them as much as anybody I know. Some of them have been through a lot of bad things. More bad things than I've experienced in all of my 40-some years. And I know for a fact I would not have handled it nearly as well as they have.

3 comments:

David Cho said...

I agree for the most part, but I would say that the church should have BOTH, not just one demographic group. That goes for not just age, but race, socio-economic status as well.

The only thing we should not compromise is the purity of the gospel.

But churches today tend to be all things to all people when it comes to the message, but very much one dimensional in terms of the demographic makeup. It should be the other way around.

Old people have a lot to contribute from their life experiences. Young people have energy to contribute. We have a lot to learn from each other.

Amber said...

Oh absolutely. I didn't mean to imply that old people aren't important to the church as well. I would never want to go to a church of only young people either.

In fact, I think it would be cool if an older person "adopted" a youth to mentor. My son has an "adpoted" grandpa at church - an old WWII vet who thinks he's the best thing to ever happen. He doesn't really mentor him but Logan knows this man loves him like a grandson.

It just makes me sad to see our youth treated like second class citizens in church. Sometimes I think they get the message that (1) they can't really contribute because they're teenagers, and (2) their problmes don't really count because they're too young to have any real problmes.

That's where I was coming from.

David Cho said...

I agree.

Most churches around here only have either young people or old people. And those that have both tend to be "mega" churches which tend to have groups strictly divided by age which means you seldom get to talk to people outside of your own age group.

All these ways to do church - pastor centric, age groups, etc - are nowhere to be found in the New Testament, but yet we hold on to them as gospel truth.