Another school shooting! Words no parent wants to hear. To say there is a problem is an understatement. Our world is a wreck, our youth are scared going to school and being at school. Many solutions have been floated. Some say more gun control, others say less gun control. As christians we know that the real problem is the heart. We have male and female students who are hurting and in pain. We have homes where men are too selfish to be a dad, or where woman seek love in anything.
We are told that men and women of God are few and far between these days. While I tend to agree it seems we have neglected a powerful demographic. These are teenagers. Before the 1940’s the term teenager was not a common term. Today it is commonplace. I have heard well-meaning people call our youth as the future. I would argue that we must shift our thinking, the youth are the now and the future. In order for our youth to be the future we must realize they are the now. There are two main points we should grasp, God uses our youth, we need our youths.
The term Teenager has an amorphous beginning. Historians postulate that sometime in the early 1940’s the term emerged in the United States. Post-Depression era is when the life stage was quantified and determined. Before that young people had various responsibilities that today we regulate to adults. Thus our youth are looked at as the almost-not-yets. The church needs to follow the plan that God has for them. God uses our youth, we need our youths.
God Uses Youth
God uses youth, there are countless contemporary examples of youth that have been used mightily for the Glory of God. However, a powerful example in the Bible is Daniel. God used Daniel in his youth as a powerful example for his people. Not just Daniel but also his fellow Israelite youths had the opportunity to be examples in a foreign land. It is hard to imagine that the youth of today in all their protected status would be willing to stand up for something like Jewish dietary laws. However, this is what we need now, young men and women with convictions. Convictions to stand up in a sometimes strange and hostile culture. Youth such as these are seldom just born, they are taught from childhood.
We Nneed Youth
The Church is aging. Youth with passion and a heart for God must be directed by older saints who have the knowledge needed to keep them from making the same mistakes. We need the youth now. Seldom does one teach and not learn, we are exhorted to teach and equip. Mentorship and discipleship is vastly a lost art. This is what so many hurting and angry teens need today. They need men and women who care about them and show interest in their lives. Life today for students is a lonely one. They are the most connected generation in the world but the loneliest. One reason for this is lack of real connection. No older person is showing their weakness, it is all covered up on social media. Parents seek to be the cool parents and don’t parent. This is not just the parents fault, but ours as a community. The church is supposed to be a family and we fail when we do not spend time with those youth that seem so distant.
What You Can Do Now
Find one youth that is not yours. Pour into that youths life. Be a friend, ask questions about their school. Go to their games and events. You can be the difference between hell or heaven for these students. If you do not know any teenagers ask the youth pastor. I can tell you that a youth pastor would love to introduce you to students that need you.
You want to stop the next school shooting? If you are serious, get to work, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will meet with and show you how to get involved in a students life.