Tuesday, July 24, 2012
So Now What?
"So Now What?" is heard by so many when they are doing so many things and finally those things are about to come to an end. Take Camp for instance. This summer I have had the joy of being at more than one camp environment. I have been with hundreds, maybe thousands of teens, hard to count accurately in my sleep depravation, and I have seen and heard many things from our teens. So the question remains, "So Now What?". I have learned things about our teens this summer. Many things that are new, some are reinforcements, and some I have seen for years. New: Our students are more fascinated with sex than ever before. Well at least in my 50+ years of life. Boys still talk with great knowledge of the opposite sex, what the girls like and don't like; and like always, they are wrong. New pranks involving Icey Hot, and other over the counter medications, some that you have to wonder out loud' "How did they think of that?" or "Why would you try something like that?" Reinforcements: Students are more tethered to their phones and music than EVER before. It is unhealthy for a teen to isolate himself, or herself, from others by escaping into their headphones and music. These are not bad things but our student culture is the most "disconnected" connected generation we have ever had. Students are insecure even when it comes to worshipping the Lord God in a worship service where the lights are low, people don't know each other and can't see you. Still they are afraid to let go and let God! So afraid of what others will think about them. What I have known for years: Kids are kids even when they are teens. They are insecure and want someone to love them. They will do dumb stuff to impress the opposite sex and give up on values taught to them that make parents cringe. Students have more, or put more, pressure on themselves and worry like crazy. Students going into High School will never say it but they are worried. They are the youngest in a place where the guys are men and the girls are women. Middle School students are worried about grades and getting placed correctly when they go to HS. Students are low in Self Esteem no matter how many participation ribbons and medals that they have amassed! Kids can't be kids because parents want them to perform at levels above them so the parents will look good, no matter that the kids just want to have some fun. Kids are filled with anxiety because they can't go to the movies without fear of someone shooting, fighting, or picking on them. Predators are around every corner. Going on line can be dangerous. Going outside can be dangerous. When it comes to relationships they are estranged from parents who are struggling with their own relationships. They see parents that struggle with many of the same issues that they do. Spirituality is hard on our students. They are confronted about their faith from other religions, culture, paganism, and due to lack of learning, knowledge or even family experience, they will not stand firm on truth but pressure. Students still want to know if SOMEONE will love them even though they see themselves as inferior products. Will they get dates, boyfriends, girlfriends, will pimples go away? What will the future bring to their lives? What vocation? Will I make money? Will I be happy? "So Now What?" To parents, love your kids, teach them by modeling biblical truths. Teach them God's Word so they can better know what they believe and why they believe it. To ministers, love the kids, teach them by modeling biblical truths. Teach them God's Word so they can better know what they believe and why they believe it. To Youth Ministers, love the kids, teach them by modeling biblical truths. Teach them God's Word so they can better know what they believe and why they believe it. The challenge is for parents and leaders because we have been where they are in ages and needs and the students this is their first rodeo. We know where to find answers, how to listen and how to lead them. That being said here's my question for us. "So Now What?"