Friday, August 11, 2006

Training for Christ

This week in a college town, three pleasant young men sat at the restaurant table next to us. With no music in this eating establishment, my husband and I couldn’t help but overhear their clean conversation.

At first they talked of ordinary things: favorite foods and entrées at restaurants. When the conversation turned to furnishing their apartments, they agreed that a fabulous place to get furniture is curbside on garbage day.

One boy said, “Dude, that’s exactly how I got my couch.” He gave details: After a drenching thunderstorm, he saw someone about to pay to have a soaked lime green sofa hauled off. He offered the sofa a good home, and loaded it into his truck. Later, he dried out the cushions and aired the rest of it. He heralded its value, “It’s so comfortable I’d rather sleep on it than my bed.”

The next table topics were classes, scuba diving, and getting certified to dive. Then one young man asked if, that evening, the rest would like to hang out with some “dudes from China.” He said the students and their professor would likely never travel to the states again due to costs.

Then the college men surprised us. They talked about God and sharing their faith. One of them told how he’d befriended a student while abroad, answered hundreds of his questions about God, and the questioner became a believer. To this day, he stays in touch with the Texas student.

When we were through dining, I introduced myself to the young men, and told them they’d furnished info and a slant for this newspaper column. Their response: “Awesome. Cool.”

Greg Steir, founder of the Dare 2 Share Ministries in Colorado, reports an estimated 50 per cent of teens will abandon their family’s faith by their senior year of high school.

To avoid this high failure rate, he advises covering teens with prayer. Second, he counsels adults to model Christianity because “more is caught than taught.”

His third recommendation is for parents to teach Bible in their homes. Too many parents outsource this responsibility to Sunday school teachers. The fourth recommendation is to “unleash” teens to be evangelistic. In China, 80 percent of the evangelists are 18 years and younger. Their passion is to reach others for Christ.

From what we heard, the three college men had disproved the 50 percent failure rate. Instead, they proved the proverb: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (22:6).

Cathy Messecar

1 comment:

  1. The exciting thing about teens keeping God in their life is that they are so open about it--as your story points out. I can remember when my son, who was quite popular at school, would surprise his dates by presenting the gospel. I know he won at least one.