Summertime is the time of year when young people traditionally find work and go to summer school or summer camp. This summer all of the above seem to be dead issues. The summer jobs are seemingly nonexistent because of the bad economy. Summer schools are closed and summer camps need more money, leaving us with the question, "What's a kid to do?"
My idea is that churches and community organizations in the helping business are supposed to step up. After all, isn't this a way of helping the least of us, and that includes our young people? What do we give our money for all year around at church if it isn't to help the young? Even Jesus received the young children, and isn't Summer Bible School or camp an opportunity to train up a child in the way they should go so when they are old they will not depart?
But what do you do when all of the money you give in church is spent on the so-called leader's extravagant life style? I guess when the leaders spend all of the tithes and offerings on the so-called on their life style, they are saying, in effect, "later for the children, it's all about me." The funny thing about that is the same leader tells you the remedy for everything, like when your kid gets in legal trouble, is prayer. My recollection of the Bible is that it says prayer without works is dead.
As far as community organizations which are dedicated to young people, we need more volunteers to step up and do what needs to be done to serve the children who need summer programs. Why can't a community organization or a church adopt a community school or recreation center and help create a summer program?
I recently looked at a church's budget and I didn't see a lot in it for taking care of the young people. There were the traditional scholarship funds and feeding programs, however, comparing the amounts in those areas paled in comparison to the amount of money for the adult expenditures, and I didn't see one paid staff person dedicated to youth programs.
Back to the question of what's a kid to do, they can sit at home, when they sit at home we all know that is fertile ground for an idle mind. And in turn we know that the idle mind is the devil's playground. I see an increase in crime this summer, a lot of time wasted watching television, and playing violent computer games and cell phone texting.
Speaking of cell phones, a pastor recently encouraged people in the congregation to utilize their cell phones, texting and whatever else, while in church. That is one of the silliest things I have ever heard. This came from a so-called leader. The message I relate to in church is the one that says, "If your phone rings in church, it better be Jesus, otherwise you need to cut it off.
Lets all think about something we can do to help our young this summer. My mother used to say if your child can't find a job, then make a job. Create a summer job doing your lawn, washing your car or whatever will keep their minds active rather than idle. We all know where the idle mind leads.
I note that the Pasadena Public Library has a summer activity program involving teen camps, dance, drawing, photography, illustrations, robotics, and other activities. Contact them at PasadenaPublicLibrary.net/LibraryTeens.