Last night I got to hang out with about 50 middle school students at Citrus Heights Friends Church. It was fun. Andre has some cool toys for the group. They have a ramp and a couple bar for grinding for the skaters. The church just set up a basketball court outside that looks great. Andre loves hardcore music, so does his kids, and they pump it out into the outside gathering area.
Many of the kids from camp ran over and gave me an incredible hug. It was great feeling their appreciation and love for me. It kind of makes this place a second home and I know that it will be just as much fun tonight with the high school students.
The evening ended with some quality time with Dom, the high school pastor and his wife Cala over desert. We got to talk about ministry and life and how to train up and recruit leaders. It is amazing to me that parents want the best for their kids but sometimes fall short. Are we as parents willing to get involved with the spiritual formation of our own kids?
We have kids involved in sports, sometimes multiple sports at one time. We push for great grades, anything less will not get you into a good college. We allow our kids to be involved in any other activity that they are excited about: band, dance, motorcycle riding, etc. All these things are great. But are we as parents spending quality time with our kids? Do we sit and just talk? Do we have dinner around a table and spend time together as a family? Do we talk about the Bible, God, Jesus and our relationship with Him to our kids? If so, how frequently?
Deuteronomy 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
If you are following the shema, the verse above, doing all those other things are great. If you are following the shema youth group becomes unnecessary, except to gather with a group of brothers and sisters in the Lord. You do not need youth pastors if you are following the shema, the parent becomes the pastor.
In the days of Jesus there was no separation of spiritual life and work life, or school life, or sports life, or home life. It was all connected. Spiritual life was connected with every aspect of the daily coming and goings of the family. Your spiritual life dictated how you conducted business and how you raised your family.
Thankfully for a large group of youth pastors, parents are not following the shema. Thankfully for a large group of youth pastors, parents are not allowing their spiritual life to exist with their “regular” life. So for a large group of youth pastors we have job security and late night conversations about doing ministry will continue.