Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coffee Milk

Most of us start our caffeine addictions by taking just a little coffee with our milk; something called Coffee Milk. I think my young friend at the left has moved far beyond Coffee Milk, but I digress.

After Coffee Milk comes heavily creamed and sugared coffee, as we quickly work our way up to a Grande Cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso. In that one large cup we consume the caffeine equivalent of four strong cups of coffee, hoping it will help us focus on our early morning computer screens. We work our way up from a little coffee with our milk, to a little milk with our coffee.

It is sad that our discipleship often works in the reverse order. Do a quick survey of the children and youth small groups, or Sunday Schools, in your church. You'll find that we start our children off on alot of Scripture, alot of church activity. Children's Sunday School classes have twice as many kids as most Jr. High classes, and most Jr. High classes have twice as many young people as most High School Sunday School classes do. People in the know know that the church loses most kids long before they graduate from High School and enter the black hole of American young adult spirtuality.

There is a myth that we hold onto that has helped us accept, and even feed the slow disappearance of Christ from our children's lives. Instead of slowly incresing their intake of Christianity, we slowly decrease it. Here is the myth that helps us do that, "If I require my kids go to church and to the things my church does for kids and youth, they won't want to go when they are adults. And, besides, it's just not worth the fight."

Our reasoning seems sound, "They have to make their own choices," we say. We require them to go to public school with little thought to their choice. We make them pick up their clothes, clean their bodies, all to teach them discipline. We have glorified choice and neglected discipline, and both are taught in the Scripture.

While I am not advocating legalism, I would like to point out that this myth is patently untrue. Children and students who are required to attend church with their families (please don't miss that "with their families" bit), are several times more likely to follow Christ as adults. The only accurate predictor of future behavior is present behavior.