Monday, December 13, 2010

Prepared for them to move on

At college i seem to vaguely remember the stages that children/teens go through (something along these lines) in identifying and owning their faith.

What has held firmly in my mind is the transition that teenagers in Christian families (especially) go through. Over time, usually in the teen years, young people will begin to personally own their faith. They will clutch their faith for themselves, as opposed to having it attached to their parents, other family members or youth minister.

I keep this before me because it reminds me that church teenagers need chances to step out and posses their faith. Young people need opportunities to stand on their own feet.

For some, this will mean stepping away from their parents church service. Ideally, this would be a transition from the morning service to a more contemporary evening service. But for some this may mean leaving their home church and connecting with another.

Either way, this is actually a healthy step in their faith development.

And perhaps the church could do a better job in preparing parents for this transition.

Ironically, if a young adult, stays in their parents home and is dependant on their folks for too long, this is seen as a inhibitor to their development. But in the Christian eyes of some parents, the exact opposite can be valued. They want to keep their baby close to home.

It may not be easy, but perhaps parents should be gently pushing them away from the nest...

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