We don’t make it easy for middle school boys to make it through a church service. How can we expect squirmy adolescent boys to grow closer to God if we don’t consider what church must seem like to them?
For instance, I remember hearing a pastor speak the following prayer in front of his congregation (… and put yourself in a middle-schooler’s mind-frame when you read this):
“Lord, help those of us who have body parts that have stopped working because of old age or lack of use.”
Now come on! That’s not even fair! I’m 43 years-old and I can’t help but to giggle at that prayer.
When it comes to reaching and equipping the next generation in our churches, perhaps we need to imagine/remember what it is like to be 13 years-old again. Perhaps we could ask questions to filter what we do and how we do it. Try these with a team of leaders in church sometime:
- How does a 13-year old boy think?
- What does a 13-year old boy value?
- What kind of an environment does a 13-year boy need in order to feel at home?
- Who does a 13-year old boy trust?
- What deep life concerns is a 13-year old boy wrestling with?
- What stories of the Bible could easily come to life for a 13-year old boy?
- What does a 13-year old boy need to know on Sunday that will help him on Monday?
- What affirmation does a 13-year old boy need each week?
- What about Jesus would astonish a 13-year old boy?
- What is a 13-year old boy who follows Jesus capable of doing?