“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).
Church is always fun as a child. Play-Doh, coloring books, artwork, snacks, and thrilling stories of the God who loves them—what is there not to like? By adolescence (ages 12-18), however, they have acquired the realization of other options, and the subsequent tension between a faith understood well enough to now be held accountable, and the entertainment offerings of the world that can be done with a more selective group of friends. The adolescent years also bring a shift in the teaching ministry of the church; from the amusing methodologies appropriate for introducing a child to Jesus, to the disciplined ways of the faith, for the purpose of training teens to take their place of responsibility in the life of the church and the mission given to her. This we do with the understanding that, for confessing Christians, we will need to bring more to the judgment bar of God than our coloring books and clay figurines.