Monday, December 3, 2012

Youth told to get a job

As I said in my status, this is my opinion/response to something said. You are free to comment as long as you are nice, respectful and not attempting to start a debate.
So a few months ago, a youth asked if our boys were going on an upcoming youth trip. My reply was that it was too expensive and that I wish there were things planned that didn't cost money. NOTE: at this point all activities outside of Wed. night and Sundays have had some expense attached. Anyway, a man who was not even in the converstation jumped in, looked at our youngest and pretty much shouted "Get a job!". Really? Another man echoed him. I didn't say anything then because (as those of you who know me understand) it wouldn't have been nice at all. So here's my response. 
1) No youth/student should have to get a job in order to be a part of youth/church activities.
  2) By the time our youngest arrives home from school, gets what needs to be done here completed, does homework, etc, it's time for bed. Not to mention that he has no  drivers license and would have to be driven to and from any job he might be able to get. He is gone daily from 6:40 a.m until at least 3:40 p.m to school--just to school.  More importantly, no student youth shold have to get a job in order to be part of youth activities.
3). The comment was rude, insensative, unchristian, and non compassionate.  Many (MANY) parents and youth are unable to even get a job these days. Some are actually disabled or have a disability that doesn't allow them to 'get a job'.  Maybe it's an invisible disability/illness"--one that can't be seen but is there just the same.  They struggle to just survive.  And just as important, NO youth/student should have to get a job in order to part of youth/church activities
4) There are many FREE activities that youth/students can do as well as adults who are willing to help 'brainstorm' and carry through with those activities.  Many are willing to donate items, food, etc.   And just as important, NO youth/student should have to get a job in order to part of youth/church activities.
5) Personally, I don't believe churches should charge for any activity they do.  Churches are here to minister, to encourage, to include, to advance the Kingdom, etc, NOT to leave people out because of lack of funds.  And of course, there's the fact that  NO youth/student should have to get a job in order to part of youth/church activities.
Note that our church will assist with those youth who can not afford to do activities.   However, aside from the fact I have mentioned many times, there are students who don't want to have to ask for assistance for every activity, they don't want to be the ones who are helped each time (and despite 'discretion' it is always known who gets financial help and who doesn't.  Intentional or not, it's 'spread oround'.)  and again, churches shouldn't be charging money to fellowship, minister, grow spiritually, etc. 
A couple of  last thoughts, instead of discouraging our youth (or anyone for that matter), making them uncomfortable or embarrassed, we, as a church, should be encourging, helping, caring, and looking for ways to 'shine'.   Abba desires for us to 'build up', not 'tear down', to help the body, not 'cut them off'.  Money should not be the reason why a youth/student (or again anyone for that matter) is unable to be a part of the body. 

 Why not get the youth/students to put off montly/seasonal activites that are just for them and have them collect things for 'the least of these'? Why not have them be a physical part of taking collected items to others? Why not let them take the focus off themselves and entaining themselves and put the focus on helping others? Why not let them help others who can't just go out and 'get a job'.  Youth are intelligent, creative and willing to 'go'.  Sometimes, they just need a helping hand--we all do.


Beth said...

I agree with you. Youth church activities should not cost. In fact, when we do stuff with our youth at church, we find ways to fund it. It never occurs to us to ask the youth to pay for it.
Why would you want people to assume there is a cost for gospel/Christ sharing ministry? It's like you're making them pay to be a part of your church.

Deana said...

We were often in that group that couldn't afford to do things at school and church, and were always given the charity funds. While our peers didn't know about it, it always felt a little weird. I can completely understand where you're coming from!

Elizabeth said...

Glad you two 'get it'. It's totally ridiculous--esp when there has been an offer to help w/ideas and activities that don't cost money. It just doesn't make sense to me--and esp with today's economy.

It's suppose to be something that others don't know about but that is just not how it is--even if it were, there are many students/youth (our boys included) who do feel wierd and just don't feel it's worth it to go and feel uncomfortable about it. And again, money should never be an issue w/church activities. I just believe they shouldn't cost the youth/students.

Beth, Your church is doing it right. love it.