But the hard reality is that we can’t pass on what we don’t have. The yawning (and well-documented) gap between profession and practice among Christians bespeaks a faith that is more flaccid than ferrous.
Adults and, especially, parents whose Christianity is religious gloss rather than spiritual substance cannot lead children to a deep, muscular faith. And without that, no amount of pandering to youth with youth worship services, rock music, campouts, and Friday night volleyball with pizza and Coke will hold them in the church orbit. The only thing capable of exerting a lasting pull is the Good News authenticated in the lives of those who profess it.
The faith young people see must line up with the faith they hear — if not, they will turn their ears from it. But to see the faith, young people need to be integrated into a church that exemplifies the faith; and that means change — big change — for churches where optional discipleship and generational division are the norm.
© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.