First Third Conversations

The Race

By Dr. Nancy Going, Director of the CYF Distributed Learning Program at Luther Seminary  

I just spent the weekend at a big conference of Children's ministers, and I heard the same conversation over and over. "Our parents keep their children so busy."  "We don't know even really know the parents or children in our churches."  And I heard lots of conversation about figuring out new ways to get their attention.  

Much of the American church (big or small) is deep into a race for the hearts of America's children and adolescents.  And we're racing with all of the other things in their lives that are claiming them.  You know all those things you want to support but really sorta resent:  Sports, dance, band, school, parents, disabilities, divorce.

In response, we go at it as if we are in a competition. Oh, most of us don't to say that outright, but isn't that how we think and function? We even ask that question.  "How can we compete?"  We work very hard to make sure OUR activities will draw in just like all of those.  As flashy, as awesome, as fun, and maybe, we hope, maybe will one day actually make a living faith with Jesus as important as all that.  

Is it's working for you? Can a competition for faith work? What do you think? 

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Nancy Going is a life-long youth minister, who loves Jesus, other people learning to love Jesus, her husband Art Going, and the two new families that are her kids and grandkids. See more >

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