“He really is out there, isn't he? We've got to be able to defend ourselves. And if Umbridge refuses to teach us how, we need someone who will.” –Hermione Granger
I love this line in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. For those of you who are not familiar with the plot of the movie/book allow me to explain. Voldemort is back and gaining power. The Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, is denying the return of Voldemort and is increasingly paranoid that Dumbledore and Harry are going to create and army and over throw the Ministry. Because of this fear Fudge have placed Dolores Umbridge in Hogwarts as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. She refuses to allow the student to use magic to practice the defense spells per Fudge’s orders. Harry and friends realize the folly in this choice, and they decide to take action.
That line says exactly how I feel about many things, including church. Though there isn’t a physical enemy we, as Christians, are supposed to fight, there is an “enemy”. We are supposed to fight against evil. I don’t know if you believe in a literal Devil, or just a figurative one, but either way we are instructed to continue to grow in Christ and not let evil get the upper hand in our lives. We are to not get discouraged, but rather put our hope in Christ Jesus; through whom all things are possible.
I do not believe that we have any excuses when we do not grow. We cannot blame our lack of growth on a bad youth program, or any other excuses you may be tempted to use. Just like in the movie, we are allowed to take matters into our own hands. Keep in mind, those in charge of the youth program are not against us. If the complaints are brought to those in charge as constructive criticism they will listen. I have faith that our leaders will not take offence as long as we are not insulting to them.
Some of you may be saying that you are too young, or the they won’t listen to you because you are only x# of years old. To this I say, rubbish! As it says in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” We are, as young people, told to stand up for what we know is right. If we aren’t growing in our faith, we need to do something about it. As I said before, we can talk to the leaders, or start up a Bible study of our own.
All of this to say that we, as young Christians, are not powerless in our growth In Christ. Recently I had been reminded that if something is not growing then it is dying. Please, I beg you; do not let that happen to you. I know we can do this. Trust God to show us the best way to approach this challenge. He will not let us down.