When I was the pastor of a local church, my wife and I invested a lot of time with young people in the congregation. Almost every Sunday we would take young people out to lunch. It was often the place where ministry was done that could never be accomplished from the pulpit. One Sunday after church a group of ten of us went for lunch.
Lunch that day still stands out in my mind because of what I witnessed in the lives of those young adults. They laughed a lot. They talked about school, teachers, music, movies and other things that are critically important to young adult happiness. They occasionally whispered to each other about things my middle aged ears could not quite catch. There is a game room at the place we had lunch with one of those crane games where you put in some money and get to drop a toy crane onto an item in hopes of winning the item. Somehow our group managed to win one stuffed animal after another from that machine. After lunch the group went swimming at a local watering hole before eventually ending up back at our house to watch a movie.
What is so remarkable about a day like that? Many people think that young adults can only have fun if they are having wild parties that feature drugs, alcohol and sex. I am not naive. I know that plenty of young adults engage in those kinds of activities. I know that sometimes even Christian young adults make bad choices. But that particular day as I watched that group, I was reminded that there are many Christian young adults who are trying to live a life of purity before God. The group that day had a lot of fun without all the negative influences of the world. No one in the group had to wake up the next morning and wonder where they spent the night, or had to rush to the bathroom to throw up from drinking too much. It was a wonderful day with a great group of young adults. We celebrated many such days with that group of young adults.
If Christians would like to see more groups of young adults make right choices, we need to offer ourselves as mentors to them. Young adults need mature Christians to offer them a safe place to laugh, a living room in a drug and alcohol free home where they can hang out, and the influence of some mature Christians who know how to be present but not overbearing. If more young people had such an environment, they would not need drugs and alcohol in their lives. They would have all the joy and happiness they needed. Those of us who are more mature must be willing to be mentors and provide safe space. It is part of our duty to pass on our faith to the next generation.
Lord, help us be the mentors in both faith and daily life that young people need. Amen.
This devotional is from the book “Heavenly Mundane” by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett. Dr. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: