Preparing for the future

“We cannot always prepare the future for our youth, but we can prepare our youth for the future.”  -Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

I love this quote because it represent two interesting factors in CYA ministry.  First, it intends to speak to the development of young people for thier tomorrow.  This is what youth ministry is about to some extent and it is how we should see CYA ministry as well (actually, sometimes we’re preparing college students/young adults to catch up to their today).  Second, President Roosevelt reminds us that we can’t control the future for them.  However, we can prepare a future for them in our churches by ensuring that our community has a place for them.  Even if we struggle to maintain the attention and/or involvement of our current “group” of young adults, there is work to be done that will prepare a place for the next generation.

This makes good food for thought: What are we doing to prepare college students and young adults for their futures?  Are we helping them to envision their lives in the fullness of Christ’s purposes?  Are we helping them to process relationships, finances, life decisions, spiritual disciplines, callings etc.. in a way that will make a difference for thier tomorrow?  Are we helping them to live like kids or like adults?

Then what are we doing to prepare a future for them in our churches?  Are we advocating for them?  Are we developing them to lead, serve and shape culture in our context?  Are we connecting them to the rest of the church that helps to bridge the relational gap?  Are we facilitating conversations with other church leaders to bring attention and clarity on how our churches will approach this ministry both now and in the next generation?

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