What I’m talking about here is creating safe places and environments for kids that come into our care or across our paths who seemingly or who actually want nothing to do with us; the genuine seekers who have many walls, the ones who were dragged in by a friend, and the ones who were forced to come by a parent or guardian. How do we interact with these kids?
I have memories to this day that still rub me the wrong way of my own experiences in youth groups. Leaders belittling me and my friends; forcing us to participate in things we did feel comfortable with; making me stand during worship songs when I was just there as a seeker; making me sing and even pray when my heart was not ready for it; even rudely jabbing my back, grabbing my arms, and ripping hats off my head. Do we treat adults this way during worship?
I'm sure for some Neil's perspective will be controversial. He certainly has given me food for thought, particularly as it relates to the teens in my Sunday morning Christian education class who only seem to enjoy the Sundays when we meet up at the local coffee house. Read the rest of the article and let him know what you think.