I spent this last weekend with a great group of students. Honestly, my vision is still a little blurry and my mind a little sluggish even two days later. But it was a great weekend. Like most youth pastors, I spent a fair amount of time asking myself the questions: “How do we build on this?” And: “What is a good next step for our students?” Actually, I ask myself this question every week when I write a lesson for our student ministry.
Today, I had lunch with a friend who is fighting a fight many of you can sympathize with, kids and cell phones. How do you monitor, control, and teach responsibility all on one of the most powerful and dangerous devices that has ever been created and fits in your nine-year-old’s pocket? We talked about tools parents can use, what companies provided better parental controls, and the dangers of the content available. When I got back to the office the thread continued in my mind and something clicked between “what is the next step for my students” and “how do parents help their kids stay safe in a digital world.”
Caring is not in and of itself enough. Most of our students left rush with a genuine desire to follow God more faithfully, with a desire to lead better and more devoted lives. Most parents desire for their kids to be safe. They want their kids to be healthy. But wanting it will not make it so if they…if you don’t want it enough to do something about it. And here is the really painful part. Doing something about it will require a considerable amount of ongoing effort. Not today or tomorrow, but today, tomorrow, the day after, and the day after, and the day after…
Students who want to be better Christians, parents who want to protect their kids, adults who want to live surrendered lives , students who want to reach their schools for Jesus, you are going to have to care about it enough to do something about it. You, parents, are going to have to take your kids phones and figure out the parental controls AND spend time digging in the literally hundreds of work-arounds that your kids may even find on accident. You, students, are going to have to set your alarm 15 minutes early and get out bed and read your Bible.
Caring isn’t enough…wanting it isn’t enough. You have to care enough and want it bad enough to do something about it.