We are excited about this next quarter Sunday AM class entitled “Christian Relationships”. Jarred Watson, Andrew Burdg and Andy Webster will be teaming up to walk our teens through ALL facets of Christian relationships, including relationships parents, siblings, friends and more.
What I love about this series is it is being taught by those that are IN Christian Relationships. To not only HEAR information but to SEE this in real life is such a neat aspect of being part of a Body of Christ. I love that our teens can SEE that people are living the things we are teaching them!
This is a follow up series to our “Renovations of the Heart” series we just completed. We looked at what Christian Character and formation really is. It was easily one of our most in depth and intense classes we have had and the teens attention and focus was commendable.
I want to take a moment again to talk about Bible Class. I know calling it “bible class” immediately gives it that school type feeling, but for 45 minutes on Sunday and an hour or so on Wednesday, we have these very limited moments to talk about the spiritual growth we all so desperately want to see in our teens as well as seeing sustainable growth in their lives going forward. I understand all of the things that go through our teens minds. They are tired. They don’t have any “friends” in the room. They maybe don’t understand everything so this makes them not want to be in there. I (and the other teachers) try our hardest to make things as accessible and engaging as possible.
But I also want to focus on the fact that sometimes it is not always WHAT is being taught so much that SOMETHING in the name of Jesus is being taught. Let me explain…your teen will remember being a part of a class growing up. Of course, I’m not saying the content is not important at all. Of course not. It is incredibly important. But, our teens will not remember every single thing taught, immediately, with perfect retention. They may not remember the specifics, but they will remember some things, maybe even years down the road. They will recall sitting with peers, laughing, nodding in understanding or wondering what all of this means, even if they aren’t necessarily “friends” with the group. Youth Ministry isn’t always about friendship (though that is a beautiful result). Sometimes it’s simply being in a place with same aged people that allows you to feel comfortable and safe and ready to learn about who Jesus is.
And they will remember that even if they didn’t feel it in that moment, something important was happening. I know this because this is my experience. No, I can’t recall specifics of what I was taught in bible class on a deep level, but I can remember that it was important, my youth minister loved us and prepared every single time, regardless of who would show up, and I truly believe God BLESSES that time in his presence, even if it comes to fruition years down the road. Foundations are being laid in bible class that will most certainly help with growth for years in our teens.
And yes, I believe this pertains to all of us as adults too in our participation in things that lead to our spiritual growth. (In other words, GO TO CLASS PARENTS. Not because you have to, of course. Because you want to.)
You all know me well enough to know, that I do NOT see this as a legalistic thing that is tied to our salvation. I have no desire to force or shame anyone into participating ever. But I do want to assure you that focus, prayer and time are put into these classes so they can establish some foundational things in all of our teens lives and I truly believe it is a rewarding time together.
In a year there are 18,980 hours (if you are getting 8 hours of sleep). You will spend about 432 hours at “church” events, including bible class, if you were to go to EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME.
That is 2%.
So if you participated in 100% of church offerings, that is 2% of your entire time in a year. How does that 2% INFORM and TEACH the rest of the 98% of your time? I share this, as always, not to shame, but to challenge, to shift priorities in how we want our teens to grow and to understand exactly what we are working with here. Oh, and if you took out bible class…giving ourselves an hour on Sunday (and Wednesday)? 328 hours. 1.7% now. It is, indeed, important.
I am always praying for your families. I truly believe that life that follows Christ is the best. And I will take any time I can get in being a positive example for you all. Have a blessed day!