I get encouraged and challenged each year when I attend the National Conference on Youth Ministries. This year was no different.
I love it when I am challenged, and then God reinforces that challenge in my own life.
Tonight as I was getting Fischer ready for bed, I noticed a can on top of the fridge as I poured him a drink. Apparently, my wife got a can from church that supports a good cause. Nebraska Christian Services operates out of our church offices and assists in adoptions and assisting struggling mothers. As I reached for the can, an idea came to me.
You see, earlier today Fischer found some money in a drawer (you know, the ole "junk" drawer!) and asked for some to put into his piggy bank.
I wonder what he'll do if I solicit some money?
I explained to him that we should put money into this can, because it would help a child to find a mommy and a daddy.
He listened intently and stared at the can as I explained that not all children have a mommy and daddy like he does.
When I finished, his eyes lit up. "Daddy, let's put some money in there!"
He opened up the family junk drawer and showed me the change. (OK, so he didn't offer his own money, but I think this was a good step for him.)
As we put change in the can, I realized that all Fischer needed was an opportunity and a challenge to do good.
Sometimes in our youth groups (and in our lives) we just expect kids to "get by." Get good grades, obey the rules, show up for church. Maybe we don't provide enough challenges. Maybe it's like the kid who goes to school, but is bored to death because it's not challenging.
Provide challenges. Provide opportunities. Bring out the best in your children by giving them a shot at doing good things...even if it means doing good things that you are not used to doing.