Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Innocent Plea for a Solution to an Ironic Problem

We get a piece of paper at graduation. Seriously. In fact, we don’t even get the paper anymore. It is mailed to us after graduation just in case you don’t pay all of your fees to graduate. So, in reality, you get handed an empty glorified cardboard folder to walk across a stage after paying a University an amount of money that will take you an undisclosed amount of time to pay back. Fun.
We, as a church and as Christians in general, tend to send our graduating high school seniors out with Bibles. That is their graduation gift from us. I think it goes something like this:
“We’ve loved having you for the past six years in our youth ministry. We know you are getting ready to encounter possibly the hardest years in your life. We know that God’s Word will get you through. So study, study, study! You have three months before life gets rough. Sorry we didn’t give it to you sooner, but hey, you need to get used to cramming for tests, right?”
Seriously, we may as well just hand them the cardboard folder if they have survived in our youth group for six years and we give them a Bible when they graduate. One way or another it isn’t an amazing gift. If they already have a Bible, chances are they probably don’t need another one. If they don’t have a Bible, shame on us for waiting until graduation to give them one.
So here is my question... aside from the six years of preparation we should be providing for our youth students, what is it that we could physically give them on graduation to encourage them and help them grow in their relationships with Jesus.
(Though all answers are welcome, please don’t say the obvious: devotional or Christian cd. I’d like something that they may utilize to help them through college.)

1 comment:

  1. i think i would say consistent contact; though it's not material, it's very important.

    i think a lot of the things i got into after getting out of church for a while were influenced by the people in my life that said "this is ok" and "that is ok," glorifying everything i knew was wrong. i know that if i had had christian friends and a church, it wouldn't have been that way.

    i know that's not a physical thing, but accountability is a gift, for sure. i know you guys work so hard, and you do a LOT, and i admire your hearts for your ministry. you also plant a lot of seeds that you may not see grow for a while, and i think college can be a place that heavily influences that growth, or lack thereof...

    (oh and another idea, how about getting them in contact with christian organizations from their colleges? i know the bcm at siu would be great for that.)