Something has been simmering in the back of my mind for a few months. As it seems to be bubbling over into my comments I leave on other blogs I suppose I should make mention of it here.
Over the past couple of years I seem to have acquired a group of teenagers. To a few of them I am known by their friends as "the friend who cares." To others, I'm the house parent that gets way too excited about Jesus. Either way, I've recognized I have a significant voice in their lives. My hope would be to engage them in the beginning (or continuation) of a spiritual conversation and journey. However I struggle with providing a path to follow - at least a somewhat structured one. In the past I have been able to invite individual teens or groups of them to church. I've always been very intentional in which churches I've brought them to, as well as doing my best to connect them to others in their age group that might be influential. Here's the thing though - I don't go to a traditional church anymore. My church meets in the living room of an apartment. We're a group of adults generally geeking out about the Bible, theology, ethics, world news and other such issues that can be difficult for teens to pull into their understanding of the world. Let's face it, I can struggle to stay afloat in our conversations, should I expect teens to?
So what does teenage spirituality look like in an nontraditional, dare I say house church setting? Do I pawn them off to another ministry when it's clear they don't feel comfortable in the YoungLife or other various youth group settings? I'm at a loss! One on one I can talk to them about the deeper things in life, but I know life is better in community.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks about these things.