On Wednesday 2nd November I attended the “how to get your kids through church without them hating God” tour organised by Rob Parsons and ‘Care for the Family’.
Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
In the final session of the evening, Rob spoke about the three disappointments that we need to prepare young people for in order that they don’t give up on their faith and walk away from God.
1) with others
2) with themselves
3) with God
the first two are self explanatory. sometimes we can be guilty of painting a false and idealistic picture of Christianity. None of us are perfect. People will let us down and we will let ourselves down. we won’t always get it right as following Christ is not easy. We need to help young people be ready for when the inevitable happens: when other Christians hurt them. Talk about grace. Talk about God’s grace for us and the grace we need to show others.
The 3rd one is more tricky. I compared a Q&A session with our youth fellowship earlier this year. The young people had the opportunity to ask a panel of ‘mature’ christians (2 of the YF leadership and 2 deacons) a series of awkward questions about faith. One of the questions was, “does God always answer prayer?”. Without hesitation, they all answered “yes” with “but sometimes not in the way we want”.
But that doesn’t cut it for me. And clearly it doesn’t for Rob Parsons either. When I prayed that my gran wouldn’t die of cancer, God didn’t deliver. How ever you wrap that up, the prayer wasn’t successful. God will disappoint young people.
Yes we can say, “well it wasn’t God’s will” or we can talk about “sin” and “spiritual forces” but at the end of the day young people will be disappointed when they pray for something and it doesn’t happen. Rob calls these the “what if not?” moments.
“What if they don’t get healed?”
“What if this never happens?”
I know I’m guilty of not preparing young people for this (and myself if I’m honest). Too often we paint a rose tinted picture of Christianity and its this that mostly destroys the faith of our young people.
It was a great night and it left me with so much to think about? What about you? Has any of these thoughts struck you/ challenged you?
- How to Get Your Kids Through Church Without Them Hating God: Part 1 (smoorns.wordpress.com)