Dave Niblock is a youth pastor from Bradford’s Abundant life church. We invited him and young people from his church to address the Evangelical Alliance Council and they did a fantastic job of inspiring and challenging us all. As I listened to Dave the idea that most challenged me related to a survey of parent’s expectations of teenagers – one of them was “Make your own bed.” Dave pointed to the fact that the disciples were likely to have been teenagers and God called them to turn the world upside down or to the fact that Mark Zuckerberg changed the world while still at college, by inventing Facebook. It was stirring stuff. I was reminded of Dave’s words when I went to visit a church in Cambridge that wouldn’t allow leaders from the University Christian Union to use their data projector in case they broke it. These were some of the brightest students from (arguably) the finest university in the world – but they were not trusted by the church.
We underestimate the potential of young people to our peril – but equally you may remember a blog post a while back about unrealistic expectation for our young people. That we promise them they will all be world changers and then by the time they reach their twenties and they have debt, unemployment or if they are luck a moderately interesting job to deal with – the promises sound hollow.
What do you think – do we ask not enough or too much of our young people?
Do we promise too much or not enough for their life with God?