Disney World !! I think one of the coolest thing a parent can do for their child is bring them on a wonderful vacation to Disney World. I mean think about it the rides, the fanfare, the parades, the fireworks to a kid it is magical. I remember the first time I went as a young kid I felt as if I were on another planet. A place where a kid’s dreams could come true where I was meeting all of my favorite cartoon characters because now they were real and had come off the television screen into reality.
Now as an adult I think vacations are still great to have but now I think about the other items that come along with a “magical” time. The asking time from work, the hotel reservations, the purchasing of plane tickets, the pain of traveling and of course the enormous amount of money that needs to be spent. So I look back to my parents and ask myself why did they go through all of this hassle to bring me to Disney World?
The answer to that is simple. My parents made all of those sacrifices so that my brother and I would have a wonderful, dare I say magical time. Today I use this analogy for youth ministry in that I believe that we need to make the same willing sacrifices for our youth in churches today. I am not saying we need to compromise our beliefs but we should be willing to give to our young people while asking for nothing in return.
The sacrifice may be great but our joy as adults and parents should no longer be in our own self satisfaction. Our joy should come from giving to our children so that they can be happy, educated and equipped to make good decisions in life. As a Christian parent or youth leader it is our duty to equip young people to make a decision to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Many a time when I have worked with leaders on making programs for the youth of our churches, I tend to hear the same complaint. “What about the adults?” I hold my tongue but that question aggravates me to no end! If the church was a restaurant than the young people would be starving and when we finally decide to give them an appetizer we complain that we didn’t get half of it.
Once my father brought me to a water park and I had forgotten my swimsuit so he gave me his. As I enjoyed my self on every water slide my heart sank as I say my father sitting on beach chair watching me have a great time. I thought to myself I’m having so much fun but what about my dad? Now that I’m a father I realize now that my father had a great time that day too! It was because he enjoyed watching me have fun. he already knew what it was like on the water slides and his joy was seeing me get to experience it for myself. I say today we should have the same mindset when it comes to the youth in our churches .
Our joy as leaders and adults should come from us leading young people to Jesus. Since we have already experienced the joy in meeting Him. We should find great satisfaction is seeing young people experience Christ for themselves. You’ve been in the water slide before now it’s time to let them (the youth) enjoy the ride.