This might be kind of rambling.. so bear with me.
At baptisms in our church, we baptize infants, and we as a congregation stand and pledge to help the parents to ‘raise’ the child in the church, in the ways of the Lord.
We do a terrible job at keeping that promise.
Oh, when they are cute and little and running around snotty nosed and ruddy cheeked we help care for them.
We help hold them, feed them, school them and feed them the gospel message. We may pray for them, ask them how they are doing in school and even get to mentor them.
Then something weird happens when they turn into a teenager. Mostly I think it’s the adults fault, we don’t know how to talk to them, they aren’t very receptive and they sometimes smell.
Then the late teens hit and they become sullen, distant, maybe get into stuff we as adults don’t know how to help with [from homework…to drugs] they have their own weird language and their own phones. Their own opinions sprout up and they are not the good little kids we used to know.
Many of us adults forget how it was when we were teens. I know I have come to remember few selective things about my youth. I seem to remember I was a pretty obedient kid, But ask my mom and you’d think she raised a different kid. Go figure.
We, as a church, have had several of our youth fall away as they grow up. I don’t really think other churches are too different from us, so I’m not just pointing fingers at us.
A couple fell into drugs, quite a few fall into promiscuity/adultery/fornication, and 3 into homosexuality. Where have the grown-ups been during all this?
Well, in our case, I really have no idea.
A hand full of close friends ask about our son at church and promise to pray for him and us. Many ask at random how he is doing. One lady send him a card a year ago and one of my friends wrote him a note telling him how she failed him at her promise to help raise him up.
No one else has called him or us, not one man has jumped in to be a mentor [the pastor has tried to help, but that’s another post for another time]
What the boy needs is people who can stand up for the truth and talk to him. Are they going to get a warm reception from the kid? Well, he won’t be rude to them, and he may not agree with them, but DAMN IT, no one has even tried.
I am NOT saying it’s the churches responsibility to raise the children
I am NOT saying our church is any different from any other
I am saying we suck at taking care of our own. No wonder the world looks at us like we are hypocrites. We are.