Think about it...in high school you have 2 and a half years with youth that can drive themselves to every event they want to come to. But in middle school the parents are really the ones making the decisions on whether or not their kids go to church or not. Think back to those years; what was the thing you wanted to do most with your time? Hang out with friends, play sports, go to dance class, swim class, piano lessons, or the most likely...sleep. Now you can add on top of all that: homework, not to mention watching tv, video games, talking on your cell phone, and being on the computer. And those are all after school activities!
No wonder there is no room for church. Why would anyone want to come to a place that is lame, boring, no fun and you have to learn more about something you don't understand? (just for the record...my personal opinion is our middle school events are as far from boring as one can get.)
But, there must be something important about it because for some reason we have 225 youth in confirmation this year and it continues to grow. Do kids come because their parents tell them to? Yes, but why do the parents think it necessary to take their kids to church? Is it because they had such a good time when they were in confirmation? Most likely not.
In the end it comes down to the importance of God in our life. Obviously, parents know this ether from their own experience as faithful people or the church is doing a good job of selling Christ on sunday morning, otherwise there would be no one around.
But in the end, getting the requirements done seems to be the end goal for the vast majority of middle school youth and their parents.
Wake up people! While we are alive we will never fully understand everything about God. And if we think 3 years of adolescent learning will teach us all we need to know about faith, God, Jesus and the Bible, then we have another thing coming. On top of that I would no longer have a job, there is no real need for pastors because they take care of adults, and we should just have a place where we can drop our kids off for an hour or two while we go out for coffee. Isn't that called daycare?
But that is not how it works, we are not perfect, we are sinners and screw up daily. That is why we need a constant, firm and loving environment no matter what age we are. Parents should note that it is up to you to initiate and encourage your kids to be involved in a positive safe environment called church. You are the greatest influence in their lives. Take them to events that will give them a real idea of what it is to be a loving a caring person, someone that will grow up and change the world for the better and love the Lord with all their heart. That is, in the end, what being a parent is all about.