Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't judge a book by its age?

Last year I was asked to be the teacher for the teen class at my church beginning 2013. I was a little hesitant at first since everyone always gives these kids a bad rep, but I decided I'd do it.

Being a teacher is a big role. As a teacher you have the responsibility of opening your students' minds to new ideas, aiding in their spiritual journey, and also being a friend to them. As I thought about all the responsibilities I had agreed to take on, my insecurities rose. The comments I received did not help. 

"Good luck. They don't listen to anyone." "They're so disrespectful." "They don't want to learn about the Bible." You get the idea..

I prayed and prayed. God gave me the strength to keep from resigning before the year even started. I decided to change everything about how their class was done, I added new things, changed the studies that we do.. For the first two weeks everything was going well. The kids seemed to enjoy the activities and I even had volunteers to read scripture!

That was, of course, until church let out that second week. A mother was questioning what we were doing in the class, and the fact that we changed the bible studies. She confronted me in a hostile way, and I can honestly say God was with me because I handled it very well and she walked away. 

What I wasn't expecting was this... She went to an elder and complained about my changes in a way that made it seem like I was teaching the kids bad things. They had a talk with me. I explained everything to them and gave reasons for my changes. Of course, they were surprised at everything I said because they were thinking different from what they'd heard before.

So why the title?

Last week my class learned about their importance and worth- without age restrictions. The majority of them are 13-16. It's a very difficult age to be a Christian, and they need to know that they matter, that they aren't all rebellious, they aren't all bad, and that they are all part of God's kingdom

This message really stuck to me as I am only 22, and get judged the same way they do a lot of the time. It's really hard sometimes to stay in church, to do the right thing, to be a good example when you're surrounded by older people who talk down on you without knowing your heart or relationship with God.

“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:11,12

Reading this verse literally lifts me up every time I feel attacked by anyone at church. It's a great reminder of who I am, what I am here to do, and who I am doing it for. If you are young, don't let anyone's comments get to you- be an example. And, don't forget that while you're living your life, there will always be someone younger watching your every move.


2 comments:

Marlo RepurposeMyLife

great post. I help with the young children in our church and sometimes feel unworthy of the task. Good for you to develop such an important cirriculum for the kids. That age is so hard. I remember feeling like my peers were all so silly and immature then. I think I was just a little mature for my age.

Keep up the good work. God is surely working through you for these kids!

Adriana Cardona

I wish we had someone like you when were that age. It would have probably helped us a lot. Love you Liz! you are such an inspiration to become a better Christian.

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