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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Teach the Young

Yours is the duty of instructing the young...

Yours is the duty of instructing the young, that they fall not into sin and the devil not drag them away to his house reeking of death.

- The Rule of Carthage (Irish, 7th century)

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.

- Titus 2.6

All adults have a responsibility toward the rising generation, to teach them the way of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. We do this by signing up to serve in our churches - Sunday school, youth ministry, and so forth. We also do this with our own children, at home. And we do this by the zeal, boldness, and manifest joy with which we undertake the task of learning the things of Christ ourselves.

Oops. The old saw, "Children don't do what you say, but what they see you do," probably helps to explain why so many young people abandon their faith once they head off to college. They simply haven't seen anything worth living for in the adults they grew up with in church. Young people are looking for purpose, mission, something big to invest themselves in for the long haul. Is this what they see in your church? In you?

Make no mistake about it, we, the adults in our churches, are teaching the young people who will take our places (or not). We are teaching them by our words, deeds, priorities, practices, and everyday ways of life. If all they see in us is a paste-on faith over a life that looks pretty much like everyone else, they'll cast the paste-on aside and cling to the life as the thing that matters most.

Of course, that won't satisfy them - any more than it satisfies us. But until the adults in our churches begin demonstrating more vigor and earnestness about the life of faith, they will continue to teach the generation to come that Christianity is pretty much a take-it-or-leave-it deal - nice if you need it, but not necessary if you don't.

The education of the next generation begins with each one of us. Let's make better use of the opportunities we have, shall we?

Today in ReVision: What, not Whether - Speaking of teaching the young...

This Week's Download: Soul Friends - Let the young see soul friends growing together, and they'll think we really mean it.

Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing with us. You can donate at the website (the link as at the bottom right) or send your tax-deductible gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 100 Lamplighter Ct., Hamilton, VA 20158.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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