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My 16-Year-Old Doesn't Believe:
Seek to Understand Why
by Thom McKee
In the last year, we have noticed a growing number of parents asking us the question, “What do I do if my teenager tells me, ‘I don’t even believe in God?’” We’ve heard the question so many times we needed to address it, and we addressed it last week in
Part I of this article,
My 16-Year-Old Doesn’t Believe
. If you haven’t read it yet, I strongly recommend you do that now.
I am a parent of two kids, and although they haven’t asked me that question, I do have a fairly unique perspective on this issue for several reasons:
First, my wife and I ran a campus ministry for Youth for Christ for many years in Sacramento where we worked with plenty of teens who didn't want anything to do with their parents' faith.
Second, as a pastor currently, I have had many parents come to me with these same questions. Sometimes they have even brought their teens into my office and asked me to "fix" them (I think it’s great to involve your pastor, but I’ll admit, “fixing” people isn’t exactly what we do).
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JONATHAN'S BLOG: Lost a friend
Youth Ministry lost a good friend this past weekend. My friend Rob Maxey, Executive Director of Youth for Christ here in Sacramento passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer.
Even if you didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Rob, many of you actually knew him by reputation. Rob is the friend I featured in my book CONNECT who literally taught me how to talk with kids on campus (the guy who said, “Hi, I’m his parole officer”). Rob is the friend whose stories I’ve used at countless youth ministry trainings and parent workshops because of his amazing grasp on how to connect with today’s young people.
The first time I met Rob I worked for Youth for Christ and knew him as “the crazy guy who paid us over $1,000” because he brought over 100 kids to our youth event and foot the bill himself. Rob was just a volunteer for the junior high ministry at his church and had told his entire youth group, “Bring your friends and they come for free!” Over 100 young people showed up, and Rob had to frantically recruit drivers as parents were dropping kids off.
Rob had an inherent knack for reaching kids no one else reached. He built a barn next to his property because kids in his neighborhood had nowhere to hang out. The barn brought out literally hundreds of kids each week.
But Rob didn’t just bring kids in… he went to them. He showed up on campus during lunch, after school, at summer school… you name it. Once he was on campus talking with a bunch of kids he knew and a new kid walked up. One of the kids introduced the new kid to Rob, “This is the guy I was telling you about,” pointing to Rob, “He really loves us.” The new kid whipped out his phone and took down Rob’s number, saying, “I’ll put you under ‘HELP’ because that way I’ll remember where to find you.”
Rob was a reflection of Jesus to most who met him.
Last summer my daughter Ashley interned for Rob at Youth for Christ and the experience was life changing. In the last decade Rob had transitioned from youth ministry volunteer to Campus Ministry director to Executive Director. But most kids knew him as the guy who was there when nobody else was.
He was a visionary, a leader… and most of all he was a friend.
Rob was married and raised two amazing boys. They knew this day was coming… but mourn his absence more than most of us will ever know.
Please pray for Rob’s friends, family and ministry.
Life won’t be the same without him.
Love you Rob!!!
I WANT TO READ MORE
OFFSITE ARTICLES JONATHAN HAS READ THIS WEEK:
Four things that increase the chances of raising kids who keep faith
Posted on April 4/5/2017, 2017 at 03:46 PM
The beauty of being an okay parent and 5 ways to get there
Posted on April 4/5/2017, 2017 at 11:39 AM
5 ideas to overcome short attention spans in students
Posted on April 4/5/2017, 2017 at 11:38 AM
biggest mistakes parents make with their teens
Posted on April 4/5/2017, 2017 at 11:34 AM
Adulthood passage rituals can create a stronger faith
Posted on April 4/5/2017, 2017 at 11:29 AM
How to respond to teen attitude without losing your mind
Posted on April 4/5/2017, 2017 at 10:55 AM
The shift to mobile TV
Posted on March 3/28/2017, 2017 at 02:03 PM
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Season Seven, Episode Sixteen, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life
by Thom McKee Who would you rather be, Negan or Rick? Think about it. Negan has pretty much everything he wants, including immense power and access to most of the material things that people only enjoyed before the Zombie apocalypse.
The Blockbusters of 2017 (Part 1)
Summer's Biggest Movies...and the Themes in Them
David R. Smith
Aliens, pirates, mummies, bikini babes…and more aliens! That’s just a few of the characters making an appearance at theaters this summer. But do you know what they’ll be doing when they hit the big screen?
Now’s the time to find out!
Summer and Cinema
The only group that looks forward...
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