The Catholic Church needs to wake up, and see that the youth is the church of now. As Catholics we are horrible when it comes to evangelizing our youth, we fail to fire them up, we fail and making them feel that the catholic Church is their church. All to often we treat them as a burden, when really they should be treated as anything but, they are an asset to the community and to the global Church.
As a youth minister for the last 18 or so years, I have seen it all… Some great ans some not, but on average the Catholic Church stinks at dealing with the youth. The youth groups are there to take out garbage after event, set up and clean up, and maybe if they are lucky, they may have a small room to call the youth room.
When we look at how other groupd with in the church are treated, it seems to me that the youth get what is left over. What are we teaching the youth of the Church?
I had a young person ask me if we could have an outdoor event, that would include a water-slide and other wet and some messy events (STATIC Youth is know for its messy events). I told them I would have to check with the office to see if we could do that, at that the youth said, “Ah, forget it, they wont let us, where just kids” and the sad part is they where write!
But we tell them, we tell everyone, ALL ARE WELCOME… We need to add a disclaimer to the bottom, stating what we really mean, ALL ARE WELCOME, if you provide money, you over 25, etc….
The Catholic Church needs to wake up! The youth is the church of today! They need to be celebrated and made to feel that they to have ownership in the Church, if we don’t start today, there will be no church for tomorrow…
Jesus, I am sure, is not happy with this. How could he be, we are forgetting the ones he told us to be like.
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Start today, look for ways to bring the youth into the Church, welcome them, and respect them. They are not something to fear, but rather something to love.
Start today, and become an advocate for them, fight for the youth of your parish.
Start today, and see the goodness of the Lord in each and every face of the youth, remember we all are made in the image of God, it is in the youth that the image is perfected.
Start today, and do something, something Small or something big, just do something, because if we don’t start today, we will never start!