Church youth going down a hill

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
I have more of a concern than anything
I am in a Coptic Orthodox Church and my concern is that the church and the parents gave the teenagers in my church a circle of allowed things to do but then they start shrinking (making smaller smaller) that circle to the point that the kids just got fed up and started to do stuff behind their parents back
If i tell the kids go talk to your parents they will tell me ooh you are one of them now and i will loose their trust and if i tell the parents they will punish their kids in which case i will loose the kids trust and the parents will just stay the same
what should i do??? i am very sad to see the church youth start going down a very steep hill


  • i'd say the best thing to do in your situation is PRAY about it, first thing, because if it's going to make them get away from God, that's the last thing you want. second, i would talk to your priest.. if he sets the example for the parents (and you for the youth) that not all things for the youth to do is wrong, maybe they will understand and start to trust their kids more. third, i would talk to your youth; make them understand from a christian perspective why their parents might feel the way they do, and help them realise that if what they're doing's not pleasing to God, they shouldn't be doing it. and if they're not doing anything wrong, help them to (instead of rebelling) take it back a notch with their parents, and slowly get them used to the idea, step by step.
    one thing i've found, is a youth group who is taught to be brother and sister with one another as a solid group, who prays together (and that's KEY), who spends fellowship time together, who helps eachother, and who learns about Christ together always sets Him as their goal, and grows stronger and stronger in Him, together.
    keep praying and God will make it happen!
  • Ya i agree with your suggestions but the thing is that i am only 19 and we are talking about 15-17 year old girls which happens one of them to be the priest's daughter. I see why the priest and the parents are strict and they are going with the verse flee away from youthful lusts but with teenage girls if you strict them from a lot of things they will just want to go do it and they will start doing it behind their parents back.
    they are not doing anything that will drive them away from God because they are good girls that just want some space but their parents won't give it to them
    and if i go talk to like 40-60 year old parents and people in charge of sunday school they will be like you don't know what you are talking about?
    Do you understand my point of view and where i am coming from?? ::)
  • ya, i totally see what you mean
    but, i think what you can do is perhaps start some activities within the church for those girls.. get them more interested in spending leisure time at church doing fun stuff with their youth group and the older girls etc.. maybe have a play, or set up a choir, or even just a games night. it's possible that then their parents will get used to the idea of them being out, and it'll help them loosen up a bit..?
  • see that is another problem my church doesn't have girls in each age group and the next age group is like 22 and it is like a couple of girls that is all and they are busy too because both are studying and working at the same time and they try and do their share to take the girls out i have to admit that and give them credit for it.
    and if a 19 yr old boy tries to do something for 15-17 year old girls ya you know how egyptian parents think i am very good friend with all their parents but still. That is why i came here because i thought of all those very good ideas of yours but didn't see they will get me anywhere and i was wondering if i can get some more ideas ???
  • I'd have to agree that you need to talk to your preist - or ask the Girls to - they should be talking about these things in confession anyway.
    another alternative to a priest , would be an older member of your parish that you can turn to for spiritual guidance - also pray - pray - and pray some more.
  • i think the girls are just scared to talk to the priest right now
    i decided as helani adviced we as a youth group in church will start hanging out more often under the supervision of like the their sunday school teacher so at least those girls can come talk to us if they need advice or if they just need a vent to vent their feelings or emotions out and i guess that is all i can do right now beside praying of course
  • That sounds like a great plan to me - all you can
    do is your best and Let God handle the rest.
    Your brother in Christ - Sava
  • as a teenager(16) im havin the same problems. parents r too strict and dont let me do anything. one way i went about it is by askin questions about stuff to abouna, or bishop, or respected servant, anonymously of course, in front of my parents. this way they saw wat was rite and wat was wrong and that they were being too hard on me. my mom changed soo much but my dad is still bein a stubborn eg. also, there are some sunday school teachers that i go talk to because they r about my age or because they are "cool" with us, if u know wat i mean. i think first try to be their friend and they will come to you for advise if they need it. hope this helps.
  • Ya, i totaly understand where you are coming from. I don't know if the kids send e-mails and questions to abouna and bishops in other cities or not i will try to see what is going on with that. And also the second part is very true becuase since i became better friends with the kids (don't get offended i call teenagers kids it is easier on me) i learned a lot more and they came to me and asked stuff they normally wouldn't ask another person from church.
    I really appericate your feedback and if you anything more plz let me know
  • The younger youth constantly have their parents on their back telling them not to date, drink or wear clothing which girls often find ‘in fashion’. Parents believe that by restricting their kids they will grow up to be modest, good Christians. This isn’t always the case. It’s hard for teenagers to go on- day by day- without an open minded parents or Sunday school teachers. In the world we now live in media is very influential and causes kids to do exactly the opposite of what their parents teach them. It’s not because they hate their parents or they don’t love God, but it’s more because their curious nature and often because they don’t have anyone their age to talk to. Young youth hear their parents making a constant fuss over things that may not seem ‘bad’ to others, and then they ask themselves 'why? What’s so wrong about dating?’ so they go and try exactly what their parents asked them to avoid.

    Its reverse psychology. this is my theory- if there’s a box in the corner of a room chances are heaps of people will see it and only few will open it to see what’s inside BUT if the same box has DO NOT OPEN written on it the 85% of the people who pass it will approach the box in order to see what’s hiding inside.

    when parents, priests and servants make a big deal about issues like dating kids want to know why its forbidden, they want to try it out for themselves (after all forbidden fruit is always more luscious). That’s where the problem starts, once you experience affection from an individual from the opposite sex you feel ‘special and happy’ and you just want more attention and love.

    What you have to understand is that these kids don’t always mean to hurt God or themselves. They just want to be loved and understood. And may I add, sympathy is always nicer when it comes from the opposite sex. Youth who have boyfriends or girlfriends sometimes feel that they are SO different from their peers (who are either too spiritual and are from the church or are too wild and do not have Religion influencing their lives) and as a result feel they have no one to talk to- if they approach their friends from church they may look down at them where as if they approach their school friends they may mock and laugh at them)

    You were right! These kids don’t want another set of parents they want someone who they can confined in. besides praying for them you can offer your help and your ears. If anyone wants to talk then let them know that you are willing and open. After they do talk, it’s not a lecture they want to hear, it’s more along the lines of how special they are to God and how much he loves them! Even that sometimes can scare a teenage girl away- but once you have won over trust that’s all you need.

    In my church, as many others the girls feel that they can talk to particular servants. These servants are always open and never make the girls feel inferior or low. They just keep reminding them how much god loves them and how he will always forgive them no matter what they do. Once you establish a friendship with the girls, and you show them that you too are human and either a) like to talk about other things or b) make mistakes as well then they will feel much better and will talk to you often about their problems.

    Parents are strict- that’s why teen’s rebel and the teens will continue to do it so long as parents try to keep a protective barrier around them. As a Sunday school teacher/servant all you can do is guide them, talk to them and defiantly pray as hard as possible for them. Hope any of this was useful

    May god bless your work :)!
  • Ya, what you are saying is very helpful and i totally understand your point on gaining the girls trust, it takes a while and a bit hard but once you step over as you said they talk openly and share.
    I really appreciate your feedback and help.
    Please keep it coming everything even if you think is small helps me out. :)
  • yeah gaining someones trust is something that can take years and years and can be lost in moments. its tough- especially in an egyptian commuinty people where most people gain great pleasure from gossiping and taking!

    God bless-
    if you have any questions id be more dan happy 2 try n find the answers!
  • Thank you all for answering back and helping me out. And whenever i have a question or good news i will let you all know. ;)
    Peace of the Lord be with you
  • Umm, am I too late to join the convo now???


  • OF course not. We are always up for ideas and listening to others
    so please let us know what you think of the concern and if you think that we going on the right track or not.
  • Thanks, in Toronto ppl are horrible, the Church is a dating place now, everyone I know there goes to Church to date!!! It's a horrible situation, Thank God, the Church here in Winnipeg is way diffrent, no dating, everyone goes to Church and brings their friends with them!!

    It's so nice!!

    Well, ttyl!

    Pray 4 me a lot!

  • thats somewat a problem in my church. no matter how many times they have been told its wrong, they still date.
  • What I'm wondering is why in Church??? Why in the House of the Lord??

  • simple answer
    "mom/ dad, im going to church!"
    "ok honey, pray for me and be good"
    "ok bye"

    hope this made some sense. but that is the one place that most parents let their kids go to without any suspesion.
  • LOL, ya ur right!

  • ya i see what you guys are saying. But i have one comment though. I think dating is ok depending on your purpose behind it. A priest told me before if you are dating so you would know the person who you are planning or wishing to marry than that is ok as long as you are away from the body.
    Does that make sense? Like no kissing, holding hands, and so on.
    I think that make perfect sense at least to me. so when you are talking about dating, of course any kind of dating inside the church is wrong, but meeting those people through the church than dating them outside the church is not wrong, i think!!

    That was just my idea maybe you guys have a different point of view.
    just let me know :)
  • I agree with you!

  • i think u should go read our dating thread. its about 11 pages long. no kidding.
  • well i wasn't shooting for a 11 page discussion when i wrote about dating. I was just giving a respond about dating and how i think one kind of dating is ok. If you don't mind can you give me the conclusion you guys got to on the dating issue?
    Interesting how we got from youth group issue to a dating issue that really doesn't have an age constrain on it!! ;)
  • The conclusion we came to is people try to find justification for their misguidance by coming on and brining up a reason why dating might be right although it has already been assessed and proved unconstructive.
  • Lol Mark, that's pretty funny!

  • i dont get it
  • i am not trying to start a whole disucssion about dating again in here but from what you saying mark. DATING: as talking to a person to know if that person is the one or not is wrong. I am not saying every couple of weeks you say i am gonna go talk to this girl because i think i want to marry her no what i mean is that after being friends with a person for a very long time there are stuff that you want to ask and know about her that others shouldn't really know about so really talking to that person one on one is that considered dating or not?? that is the way i think of dating. Not dating as going to movies than making out and so on (the american view of dating)
  • here we go again (no offense intended, just humor)
  • Like you said, we aren’t going to start a new dating discussion in here. In those 11 some odd pages, there isn’t one aspect we haven’t addressed and then addressed again; even the one you just brought up. Reading the 11 pages would be highly beneficial for everyone; they are extremely meticulous and thoroughly cover the common questions.
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