The long answer is YES!!!
Yes, Yes and some more YES!
But, the reality is, I don’t know if it’s a priority for the local church.
Of course the local church cares, right?!? As believers we’re called to love. To stand up for the helpless. To be Christ. To extend His kindness. To raise up the next generation of Christ followers.
But, we just don’t talk about it. Maybe that’s a broad generalization, but in my 18 years on being on staff at local Churches and my connecting with church leaders all around the country, we just don’t talk about it.
We talk about missions and do we ever! Don’t get me wrong, I know that’s important. But, wow, we spend a lot of time talking and helping the other side of the world. Please don’t hear me the wrong way. I’m not saying we shouldn’t
We can’t forget about our own neighborhoods, our own schools, our own kids.
If we spent as much money and resources and effort on missions that we do for the children and students in our churches, would they still be eager and ready to leave our churches during their late teenage years?
Every week I watch about a dozen messages (sermons) online from churches from all around the country and rarely do I every hear anything about bullying. I even occasionally watch some TV evangelists…ok, I know it’s weird! But really, the only bullying I hear from them is how they bully me to give! Hah. But, that doesn’t count!
This past week I was looking over the line ups for the two major youth ministry conferences in the county and nothing. Nothing addressing helping students with bullying.
Actually, I’ve attended 10 National Youth Workers Conferences over the years and I’ve never seen or experienced anything centered on the topic of bullying. Sure, there have been seminars that have addressed the topic, but nothing focused on bullying.
Why is that?
As youth pastors we see our students once a week for a few hours. The students who aren’t involved in student ministry but attend church, spend about and hour and a half in our churches.
160,000 students stay home from school everyday for fear of being bullied.
I know Churches and Student Ministries equip our students to be a disciple and in that, they are equipped to be a light in a dark world. But, don’t we need to equip our students, youth workers, pastors, and parents on how to help students who are overwhelmed with bullying?
Bullying is real! We can’t ignore it any longer. I’ve heard so many well-meaning people refer to it like it’s just a passing fad and is good for kids…‘it makes them stronger’ they say! That’s baloney!
Yes, dealing with conflict and tough relationships is GOOD! But bullying, you’ve got to be kidding me!
I believe it’s time for the Church to speak up and stand strong and help families. Help students. Help schools.
I know I don’t have a lot of answers here, but I just wanted to start the conversation.