An Update from Josh Reagan1
by Josh Reagan
Brothers and sisters,
I want to start by thanking you for all your generosity. Your faithful stewardship has allowed us to provide great resources for the youth and families of the church. This summer, we were able to take two trips to the RYM youth conferences in Panama City, FL. Our time was well spent worshipping alongside others from all over the country, as we were able to enjoy God’s beautiful creation at the beach! Some of my favorite time is spent in the youth leadership training sessions, as we are reminded of our task and equipped to carry it out. Dr. Walt Mueller is one of my favorite speakers. He has so many good resources for parenting and discipling youth on his website cpyu.org. We as a church have committed ourselves to discipling our own children and helping others in the congregation with this task. It is a daunting task, especially with everything we have going on in the world, but it is something we are called to do. Someone is discipling our children; whether it is a pop star or a YouTube sensation, someone is teaching them. I want to close out by giving some encouraging points from Dr. Mueller’s book, The Space Between:
Keep these truths in mind as we start this new school year:
- Your children are a gift from God. When you don’t believe it read Psalm 127!
- Parenting is NOT easy. No matter what someone else’s instagram is telling you it ain’t that pretty. Dr. Paul Tripp says parenting teens is “often cataclysmic years of conflict, struggle, and grief. They are years of new temptations, of trial and testing. Yet these very struggles, conflicts, trials and tests are what produce such wonderful parental opportunities.”
- Will there be perfection? No! There is no perfect person besides Jesus himself. We live in a Genesis 3, post-fall world. We are sinful and our kids are too. We need the grace and mercy of God. This should lead us to have callouses on our knees from prayer and God’s word stored in our hearts.
- Teens are in process. We are all in process so there will be many changes physically, mentally, and spiritually. Trust God to open their eyes at the perfect time. Be faithful to plant the seeds, and plead with God to give growth.
- We should be preparing our kids for independence from us and dependence upon God. Making excuses for them, sheltering them, and not holding them accountable is not helping them. Give them the tools and show them the way.
- Prepare them for trials and suffering. Helplessness is a good place to be! James chapter 1 and Psalm 13 are worth taking to heart. John Foxe said, “Trouble and affliction are great teachers.”
- Your Child longs for God whether they know it or not. Help them see that their greatest longings point to a God-given longing to be reconciled to him through Jesus. It is in all of us, and when we are looking for love in all the wrong places we will be miserable until we are resting in the finished work of Christ.
These are some things that I want to keep in mind as I parent my own children and help lead the kids of Westminster. We are all needed in this process.