Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Teen Scene

Tonight I finally got to go to the fall Bible Study. I got sick 2 weeks ago & was still feeling yucky last week. I think I will find a different place to park & walk in next week. This church has a HUGE youth group event every Wed. night. I honestly am not sure WHAT it is. I just know there are teenager type people all over the place. And the girls almost all have the exact same haircut. It is quite an odd experience for me. Even as a teen I wasn't involved in BIG group events. I went to a very small church where our youth group ranged from about 2 to 6 kids at any given time! In school, I was on the dance team, but our school wasn't huge, so even with the band & dance team combined, we weren't a HUGE group. Plus, if we were ever all together, it wasn't for just hanging out.

So, this weekly event looks like something the kids really enjoy. Looks like they have outdoors activities they can do, or indoors, or just hang out with friends. I walked through, to get to my car after Bible Study, feeling very out of place & trying to picture my own children in this setting. I think that the youth includes 6th grade & up. I have a child who is old enough for this, yet I could not even begin to imagine her in this swarm. There is loud music and kids skateboarding outside and kids sitting in groups playing guitar and all other teenager kinds of things. My 12 year old was proud to tell the doctor that she brushed her hair today. My 12 year old is content to build things out of whatever scraps she can find. My 12 year old would be as happy to receive a toy oven or cash register as most 12 year old girls would be to receive new clothes. My 12 year old could care less if she "matches" or has anything "stylish" on.

I did see one young lady there who has been in my middle school cooking class, and there, in the midst of all her peers, was still willing to come up to me and give me a hug. She doesn't look like all the other girls. I suspect she would be just as happy to be skateboarding as to be shopping for new clothes!

Of course, I do have another child. She is 9, yet, would be quite happy to be old enough for a youth group, I suspect. She would love the noise. She would love the crowds. Very likely she would fret more over WHICH jeans and t-shirt to wear than about fellowship with other Christian kids.

As I drove away, I had several thoughts. First, for the young lady I saw, and knowing her siblings, this seems to be such a good fit for them. I was happy to see how God had led them to this church. I also thought, "I don't think this is what my kids need." My Aspie girl has learned to be comfortable with some of the other girls at co-op. This point has taken 5 years to reach. While these are Christian kids, there are just so MANY of them that I would feel like I was putting a minnow in a lake full of full grown catfish. Then, I thought that my 9 year old doesn't need to be encouraged in the things I can see happening with a group this size. If the stage she is in now continues, this could EASILY, for HER, become more about outward appearances than a heart for the Lord.

I am glad there are churches who open their doors to the youth of this generation. I've met some amazing young people at our homeschool co-op. I'd FAR rather see them gathering for skateboarding and listening to Christian music than to be dashing into my neighborhood streets as if to taunt drivers, and listening to music.....well, some kind of noise that seems like it MIGHT be music. Yes, I'm becoming an old fogey! Yet, it caused me to realize that my kids aren't that far from this age, and that I need to pray fervently as they enter this next stage in life.

It also made me ask where else I could park. LOL!

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