June 9, 2011

Opportunity or Expectation.

It's Summertime.

A time to reconnect with family and engage the restful practices of the beach, no alarm clocks, and no schedules. At least, that is what is typical of a high school student... from about 5 years ago.

In a world driven by productivity and stability, high school students are strongly encouraged to participate in so much. Get jobs, go to camps, be involved in numerous club sports, and on top of all of that, desire to have a social life. Of course, being a part of a ministry that works to provide high school students with some of these opportunities, I get to add to all of that noise that continually inundates these students with beneficial activities.

But, the Church is supposed to be different. The Church should be inviting. The Church should be easy and less requirement and expectation. And the Church should be understanding when someone can't make it to an event. But, I wonder how often students walk away from our promo of events and the follow up we might have with them and think that they were missing out and that they somehow disappointed their leaders.

This is something to think about. If they are truly opportunities to engage with their youth group, or take a break from the busy-ness of their lives, or grow more in their faith, while they might need some extra encouragement, we should never cross the line of making it an expectation that they go. And that starts with the way that we promote something.

A relationship with Christ is a free decision to follow something greater than ourselves, impact the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and spend eternity connected to the Almighty God of the Universe who loves us unconditionally, forever and ever. With that in mind, we should continually find ways to present the opportunities that we offer with that same love, grace, and patience.


Dan Weiss said...

Great post!

Small Town Girl said...

As someone whose children are busy & can't make many events in the summer, I appreciate this post. You understood the conflict students face and are intentional to not make them feel guilty about missing & instead make them feel loved & accepted when they are able to attend. Thank you! My kids love being a part of NMC ministries!