Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sand, Rock, your choice.

As I have been reassessing our youth ministry and thinking about how we teach, what we teach, and even how we raise our kids altogether, many, many thoughts have gone through my mind. Am I overprotecting? Am I helping parents or competing with them? Am I doing everything I can to be a good resource to our parents? Am I teaching things that are on point and relevant and, most of all, useful? Then, I showered.

Showers are great. Not only do they help one hygienically,  but they also create a dampened closet of solitude to process one's thoughts and allow for what is often the only moment of meditation of the day. This can often lead to using all of the hot water which, ironically, will put me in more!

But back to the point, I was thinking in the shower as I squirted Dial (manly) shower gel onto my loofah (not so much). And I thought about the story Jesus told about the man who builds his house on the sand versus the man who builds on solid rock. Of course, it is a simple story. The houses in this parable represent our faith. The sand and rock represent the foundation. What is my faith built upon? What is it made of? What am I living for? Christ or a mirage of following Christ?

Simple enough.

But in our culture, we have created another option. An option that Jesus failed to mention--perhaps he didn't think of it--in his parable. That is the option of building elsewhere. In our Christian subculture, we have decided that this parable is not all-inclusive. Jesus says storms will come, build on rock. We say, better yet, why don't we build where storms don't come! Take your rock, I'm going to San Diego! We think we can dodge storms, but we cannot. We try to keep our kids from hearing about sex, being around druggies, and seeing bad things on the 10:00 news, but somehow the storms do find us.

Therefore, I am choosing to help our students find the rock. No more teaching them to run from storms. No more avoidance of difficult subjects to avoid difficult phone calls and emails from over-protective parents. We must create a place where students can discuss taboo subjects. We have always said we want our kids to learn about sex from us (parents, the church) before they learn it in the locker room. But what about evolution? Church or science class? Difficult faith issues, church or philosophy class?

I am not sure I need to tell kids what to think. I don't know if teaching apologetic is enough. I think we need to ignite in students a passion to know the truth, to seek the truth, and to connect the truth with God. Because God = Truth. If it's true, then God made it that way. Instead of solely teaching our kids what to believe, why don't we spend more time showing them what rock looks like? Where its found. How to build on it.

Those are my thoughts. Please weigh in with yours.