There comes a moment in all of our lives when we take a big step. It’s a step that we wait years to take and, when it finally comes, we know that our lives will never be the same again.
The first holiday when we upgrade from the kids’ table to the adult table is a rite of passage that most of us have taken. When we finally sit at the adult table the food tastes better, the conversation is more refined and we suddenly don’t want to play with our food as much. We look down on the kids’ table and pray that we never have to go back again.
The journey from the kids’ table to the adult table mirrors our journey from childhood to adulthood. We wait so long to get our licenses, to turn 18, to move out, to start our careers, to get married and to have kids of our own that we can force to sit at the kids’ table. Once we get through our journey, though, once we make it to adulthood, it’s easy to forget about the young people who are still on that journey.
This past weekend was a great reminder of those still at the kids’ table or those making their way to the adult table. With or without power, we saw a powerful example of what it means to invest in young people and help them on their journey from childhood to adulthood. We can’t just say that we believe in young people and want to see them become all that God has created them to be; we actually have to put action behind our words and help young people navigate childhood and adolescence.
That action can take a lot of different forms.
We can serve in KidSPACE or student ministry.
We can volunteer for VBS 2018 and hang out with a bunch of kids all morning long.
We can give money to help kids and students get to summer camp for a transformative week.
We can still engage with worship services even if the music gets a little loud or the lights get a little low.
For most of human history, communities of adults banded together to help raise children to adulthood. In the past few decades, though, adults have abdicated that responsibility, focusing on their own needs and leaving young people to fend for themselves.
We can no longer let young people fend for themselves; those of us who have made it to the adult table have a responsibility to those still at the kids’ table. We need to help them on their journey, navigating all the pitfalls and speed bumps of growing up. And, when they’re ready to take their spot at the adult table, we need to be willing to give up our seats.