Thursday, March 9, 2006

thursday a turning point

This week has been one of those turning point times for me…
The class has been weighted toward the side of pathology (the deviant, often disturbing side of adolescent reality). Now please hear me – I AM NOT INTERESTED IN STICKING MY HEAD IN THE SAND… so when we talk about sexually deviant behaviour like hooking up (not for the easily frightened!) or the unbelievably high occurrence of sexual abuse. Stats like 70% of all youth leave high school – NOT as virgins. One kid (the college joined us seminary students) in the class said she has noticed that kids are not even using terms like “slut” or “whore” to describe promiscuous kids anymore – suggesting that sleeping around is becoming okay. On top of that add issues of violence, and co-dependence and you start getting the overwhelming picture that has started to be a recurring theme in the class. And you can start to see how my sceptical mind starts kicking in. I know how crucial it is that we intervene and I DO NOT DENY that this stuff exists. BUT… I know that it is always terrible to create solutions and ministry strategies out of the motivation of fear. Scared decisions are always the wrong ones.
But I know that this stuff needs to be brought up be cause so many of us get lulled into thinking that this stuff is barely real. It’s easy to ignore! Why because adults are basically selfish self centered brats who have relegated their kids to the outskirts of our lives. Abandoned kids are ones who are desperate for real love.
This week has reminded me why I am in this business (Youth Ministry). I love youth. I love their desperate lives of anxiety. I love their honesty and craving for authenticity. I love their passion. I love their spontaneity. But you know if it would stop there I should stop doing what I do. I love youth because they need/want love and I can love them. My heart breaks when over and over again (and it has seemed often lately) that I’ve heard of kids who have made some crappy choices with their lives and are obviously still searching for the unmet “CORE THIRST”. I have cried this week – for broken souls – reminders of kids who are using shallow empty wells to meet love needs that no one had permission to fill anymore.
Blame broken families, blame feminization of males (this is a bigger deal than I had realized at first), blame marketing, blame the sexualization of culture, blame access to sin, and we will miss the main point. We are ignoring our kids because we are more important than they are.
We can be alarmed – and maybe the nightmare so many families are living in should make us think of at least opening our eyes.
Alarm does little… You know what alarm has done so far. Well the church has thought that the answer to the alarm they feel have created programs…
Come on people they want our time
Our bloody time (sorry mom)
“Jesus, I don’t know if I have any business asking anything from you but… would you please give your little lambs people who would love them.”
I don’t know how many times Mark and I have driven back and forth from Lethbridge with tears over kids and their destructive behaviour. I don’t know how many times I have clenched my teeth over the over protective responses that so many Christians want to employ to keep their salt and light kids out of the public school system. It makes me angry how much we don’t really care about the ones who are starving for love out there…
Church crap can get the best of us beaten down. You tear your heart out for kids and then the church takes the rest and stops all over it with politics and stupid requests to change silly things like the amount we say God in our prayers. But this is not a pity party. It just boils my blood when I hear people say that they don’t feel called to youth ministry. It’s a load of crap. Just say I don’t care.
I’m rambling
Alright I should go back to bed
i got some good marks on my last course you know...

4 comments:

charlie brown said...

today in my nursing class we had a presentation on IV drug users and the stats say that 83 percent have suffered abuse with emotional neglect being the number one form of abuse followed by physical then sexual abuse. you're bang on when all kids really need is our time and our love. the biggest part of the solution to all of the teenage crap out there is to ensure that as children they are loved and cared for. as teens we've got to be there for them. as adults we've got to give up our rights to our privacy, our leisure time, our excuses for ignoring them.

Natasha said...

Hi Dale...I’ve come super close to commenting on your blog before, and here I am finally taking the plunge!! So here’s my two cents. I agree with you right up to the point of “It just boils my blood when I hear people say that they don’t feel called to youth ministry. It’s a load of crap. Just say I don’t care.” I have to say, I 100% disagree. I would make a crappy crappy crappy youth minister/worker. I’m not called to it [subject to change]. But, that’s a very harsh thing to say that that means someone like me doesn’t care. I think you are so passionate about it, that you nearly can’t understand how someone else couldn’t be. (Which is, by the way, a huge compliment to you, and shows that you are for sure in the right spot.) I personally don't see how people can’t be involved in international justice issues. In my mind, all the world should stop and focus their attention on that...but if they actually did, everything would crumble even worse than it is now. Everyone is called to something, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t care about the things they aren’t called to.

Freezer said...

Right on Natasha - good compliments for my bro and good insights on calling.
Dale, easy on us private school people. Seek first to understand and then to be understood. There is plenty of salt and light needed in Christian schools too. Your assumption is that the kids of parents who send their kids to "christian schools" are salt and light. That is a poor assumption.

May the fire you have for youth ministry ignite more men and women to be listen to youth more. Good book is "A Tribe Apart" by Patricia Hersch. Ask Marv about it - He used it for a course I took with him.

Paul Morgun said...

I think alot of this stems from self centered society we live in..its not about how our children will be, and what kind of worl they will live in...its about how am I enjoying my life...I realize this is not true for everyone, but i think the church has bought into, me first syndrome...