“Hey Mom, it’s a new world record…I lost my lunchbox on the first day of school!”This declaration from my newly minted 7th grader should have made me angry, or at least frustrated. Instead, I found myself laughing with relief and genuine glee; the pressure was off already.
Ever since I returned to the church in my twenties, I have been inspired by the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Several years ago, the Holy Spirit sent me, via the internet of course, a simple activity to ease dinner table tension by building relationship through storytelling. A mason jar, minimally decorated and containing slips of paper in three colors.
Eleven years ago, Marvel took a huge risk. They attempted a blockbuster film about a beloved, though not strikingly popular superhero, starring an actor who was a troubled darling of small cinema in the middle of an upswing following imprisonment and rehab.
As a teen, my stomach sank whenever I boarded a plane. I wasn’t scared to fly, I was nervous about sharing the gospel with my seatmate. What could be more awkward than cornering the total stranger trapped next to you to inquire about their eternal destiny? Yet that’s what my evangelical preachers told me to do on flights.
We are entering one of my most dreaded times: college acceptance season.
As we approach Lent, I wonder how we can use this season to help the teenagers in our care, at home and at church, keep the door open for faith.
There is so much I hoped to do during this Advent, for my own kids, for the children and families in my ministry, and yes, for myself. And as always, come Christmas morning, some of it will have to be put away with vague hopes and promises of next year
If you want a teenager to run away from church go ahead and teach them about the virgin saints. If you want teenagers to see the power they hold and the faith they can embody tell them about the the fearless arguers, the brave truth tellers, the rebel saints.
How can we help young people feel included in our churches? Miriam suggests ways to include teens in your stewardship campaign by offering them the opportunity to be a blessing to, in, and for your congregation.