Parents and Teens: What the Heck are We Thinking?

I have pastored, mentored, led, etc tons of young people over the years. It has ALWAYS bugged me when parents let their kids’ sports “careers” dictate their schedules… even if it meant not going to church events. I’ve seen it over and over… a soccer game is chosen over a Sunday service… a tournament is attended that keeps kids from a summer camp or retreat. I know a lot of those kids as adults now. They have missed out on a LOT. They have gone through stuff they didn’t have to. Some still are not “all there” spiritually. Guys, this WHIPS me! If you are a parent, think long term about the impact of your decisions on your teen. I’m not saying it is always wrong, in every circumstance, but why is it that the church events always get ignored? Teens, why not rebel against what’s “normal?” Let your coach know you won’t be missing church for games or practice anymore. What’s the worse that can happen**. What if all of the Christians did the same?

I found this blog post today:

Whether you are a teen or parent, I DARE YOU TO READ IT! It’s written to Student Pastors, but it’s perfect for parents and teens to read. There’s too much at stake to ignore it. Please post your comments!

**UPDATE Ok, I thought about this. The worst that could happen is that you are kicked off the team and don’t get a college scholarship. Sounds bad. But, if you give up something now, or get an extra job, you can save for college and you won’t have to rely on a scholarship. Is it really worth risking eternity anyway?

Help! I’m Spiritually Depressed!

I talk to people from time to time who say they just don’t seem to be “clicking” spiritually. They might feel lethargic, disconnected, or even spiritually depressed. They say things like “church hasn’t meant much to me lately” or “I feel spiritually dry.”

Whatever they feel or might be saying, it boils down to they are in some kind of spiritual funk. I’ve seen it a lot over the years. I think it happens for three main reasons. The first two reasons have to do with things you can control. So, if you are in a spiritual funk ask yourself these two questions:

1) Am I doing something I shouldn’t do? Sin affects our relationship with God. If we are Christ-followers, He doesn’t leave us, but we definitely feel alone. Sin rots us from the inside so when we have unconfessed sin in our lives it messes us up.

2) Am I not doing something I know God has told me to do? Maybe you need to forgive someone, take up a ministry at church, tell someone about Jesus, start reading your Bible, hang out with God… the list could go on and on. Bottom line, as long as you are disobeying God, you’ll feel the funk.

Ok, so what if your answer to both questions is “no?” If the funk lasts more than a few days, then I believe there is a third reason we get spiritually depressed. I believe it is because God might be trying to get your attention. You probably don’t know why. No one else might be able to tell you. But you have to trust Him and believe that He knows what is going on and that He can handle it. When we go through periods of spiritual dryness or whatever you want to call it, we should reach out to God even harder… pray more, read scripture more, etc. He doesn’t want us to give up. Keep pressing in, one day you will push through.