One of the coolest things I get to encounter as a Youth Minister is questions from a younger generation. Some of these questions I had while I was growing up and many others did too. I struggled with them, others struggled with them. Questions about faith, culture, politics, and even life in general swamp the minds of youth in todays day and age. Would many of us know it? Probably not, because they don’t know how to ask the people who view the world in black and white and no gray. They don’t know to ask the hypocrite, who says do what I say and not as I do. They don’t know how to ask the person who judges them for asking questions that they will get condemned for. Questions that challenge thinking, questions that challenge the way things have always been done. Questions that are legitimately tough for the everyday Christian to answer. The perception is that students shut their brain off at 12 and don’t turn them back on until 18 (this is frustrating). No wonder they don’t want to ask us anything! We already have our minds made up that they are stupid and the questions are dumb. And that’s the sad reality.
When a student asks you a tough question are you going to be open, real, and loving or get mad? How about…Is it okay to smoke pot, is doesn’t say anything about it in the bible. Why would God make attractive people if he didn’t want us to lust? Is drinking alcohol a sin? What is the big deal if I get high with Christian friends and it’s legal? Can you even say that a girl is attractive or is that lusting?
Youths are struggling to make sense of their faith in a world that says there is no God. They are struggling in a culture that is filled with backwards thinking. The schools are filled with people who claim to believe, but don’t live it out. Friends who turn on friends. Parents who say one thing and do another. Where jokingly tearing someone down is just having fun. Environments where numbers must add up or the result isn’t real. Hallways where nice guys finishes last and the students who hold the truth have the most doubt.
And that’s where you and me come in, the church. The church filled with struggling people, who haven’t quite made sense of it themselves and who haven’t got it all figured out. Acknowledging that maybe that question is a good question. Rather than condemning, it’s our job to listen, love, and bring Jesus to the forefront. Share our experiences and God’s Word as we are following His example, pointing toward Him and His Word. Making disciples by saying “come along on the journey” as we try to Love God and Love People. It’s not a matter of no and shame on you, but a matter of yes, to the two greatest commandments, providing life through the struggle.