Randy McNeal serves as the Youth Pastor at Christ Community Covenant Church in Arvada, CO where he oversees his team in both the Middle & High School Programs.
In this guest post, Randy discusses the need for lasting, adult relationships in the lives of youth.
Around the holidays we get excited to share a meal with our friends and families. We prepare a large meal, break out our fine china, and decorate the table in hopes of having a wonderful evening of mature conversation. We work hard to make sure any distraction to this time is hindered, namely, by setting up the kid’s table. The paper/plastic goods, macaroni and cheese and a separate table in a separate room are all part of removing what could be a potential ruining of our evening. Why then, are we surprised when our kids have poor manners, no respect for tradition and find our conversation boring? They never were able to experience the luxury of it all because we convinced ourselves “they would be better off at their own table” when really; we thought we’d be better off with them at their own table. Is that much different from youth ministry today?
A recent study produced by Kara Powell and the Fuller Youth Institute suggests that “for high school and college students, there is a relationship between attendance at church wide worship services and Sticky Faith.”
Yet when it comes to youth considering strong support systems they rate their adult congregants in a distant last
compared to people like friends, parents, and youth workers. There is a gap that must be filled if we expect the faith of our kids to stick in their lives. The most significant way to help a youth feel included is by adults making an effort to get to know the young people.
It shouldn’t surprise us when our High School graduates can’t find a church during their college years. All they know is youth group and the “kids table”.
Check out this video put out by FYI illustrating this point here.