My dear friend, Michael Toy, has a heart-rending post about his son’s experience at church. If you’re in youth ministry, please read it. Hell, if you’re in ministry, please read it:
The Day They Kicked my Son out of Sunday School
Once upon a time there was church somewhere in America. It wasn’t better or worse than any other church in America. It was as full of the same kind of hopeful foolish beauty, and tragic inevitable disaster as any another other place where people put money in the offering plate and sing songs.
Now in this church there was a family. A quirky non-conformist family, square pegs, no … hexagonal pegs, no … 5 dimensional pegs. The church loves this family and the family loves being part of the church. They don’t quite fit it, because of those pesky extra dimensions, but everyone gets along ok.
Then three things happen.
- There is some upheaval and the youth program which used to be run by a full time staff member is now being run by a part time volunteer.
- There is some upheaval, and the quirky family is not working very well. They are having to work hard just to keep loving each other, they kind of lose energy for extra stuff, like looking all shiny and nice on Sunday mornings.
- The son in this family, partially because life is not perfect at home, and partially because he is five dimensional, is now, by his presence in the room, keeping the youth program from running smoothly when he is involved. He isn’t knocking down walls or hurting people. He refuses to sit in the circle and play the games and doesn’t have the same happy opinion about the world that everyone else does.
One day, Youth Director comes to the Father of the Quirky family and says. “Your son is messing up Sunday School for all the normal children. Something has to be done.” On the day of the pronouncement, the Father of the Quirky Family was trying to figure out how to not to run screaming in fear from all the broken-ness in himself and the rest of the Quirky Family. The last thing he needed was a new problem that needed to be monitored and managed.
Read what happened next: The Lingering Lemon of Death: The Day They Kicked my Son out of Sunday School.