“It’s not easy being a kid.” Most of us would agree with that statement whether our childhood was spent in the anti-establishment days of the 1960s, the counter-culture of the 1970s or some other decade. While every generation experiences challenges, today’s kids are living in a world where the role of family is being challenged in unprecedented ways. The very definition of family is up for debate as is witnessed by same-sex marriage debate across the nation and here in Indiana.
Technology has added other challenges for today’s youth. Social media has opened the door for bullying to exist in a 24/7 time frame that crosses all geographies. Then there is the issue of substance abuse. As The Herald Bulletin reported in its February “Faces of Meth” report, our county ranks as seventh in the state in terms of meth labs. Sadly, many of the county’s young meth addicts are born into a state of addition.
It is an understatement to say that kids in our community today are in need of help. But what does it mean to help kids today? A few weeks ago, popular culture and news programs were abuzz with recommendations that the word “bossy” be dropped from our collective conversations; particularly when referring to girls.
Helping kids in crisis is not a matter of “name calling.” Kids today need relationship. They need insight and knowledge that will guide them long after the latest social media fad has come and gone. Kids today need discipleship — someone to walk with them and teach them lessons that transcend today and tomorrow.
Recently, East Central Indiana Youth for Christ’s board of directors elected to change our name to East Central Indiana Youth Serving Christ. The name change puts the emphasis on serving; a principle that Jesus Christ demonstrated to his disciples throughout his 33 years on earth and his three years in the ministry. Despite the name change, our ministry and mission remains the same: to build young disciples for Christ. However, we’ll strive to emphasize “service” in our community.