Youth

The Gift of Listening

Chad Diegle, Director of Youth Ministries

11/6/19

Listening sounds so simple!  We have two ears, so it should be really easy.  You and I both know that listening, truly listening, is a skill that takes time to develop, discipline, and patience.  Tons of patience.   Listening is actually a really complex word, but it’s a word that may prove instrumental in building a healthy relationship with our teenage children.     

Reflecting on my experiences as a youth leader, I am often put in situations where listening is the single greatest gift I can offer to our teens.  I listen to weird stories, strange situations, moments of doubt, conflict, pain, loss, grief, great joys, deep love, shallow lust, and the list could go on for pages.  This act of listening is difficult at times.  However, listening is the gift that teens crave from us.  They crave it because they need to process without judgment or hear themselves speak so that they can process how they sound or even just to get something off of their mind.

I am aware, as a parent of boys who are exiting their teen years, of how difficult it is to listen, but even more difficult than listening is listening without judgment.  At times I wonder how good my poker-face is because if my own boys were in tune with my subtle body language, I am convinced our conversations would have been far fewer and further apart.  I have been listening to teens for 20+ years, and I can promise you that it is easier listening to “other people’s kids” than it is my own.  I am convinced, however, that it is critical for us to offer our own teens this gift, maybe more important than other things we prioritize.  We value our children’s education, friend groups, sports, activities, safety, vacations, and so much more, but I believe that one PRIMARY element of their overall health and development that we tend to neglect is having access to our ears, without judgment. 

I know that if you are willing to grow in this area, for your teen, that God will work with you.  That’s good news.  My prayer for you, as a parent, is that you pray for this gift.  If you have it already, congrats!  Pray for more of it!  I also hope that you take this gift seriously, as challenging as it may be, because it could prove to be profound for your child, your family, and for you.

I found an article that offers some great advice on how we might grow in this area. Click the link below to read more. Please share your struggles and successes with us.  Reach out or use the comment section below.  We need each other as we figure this stuff out!

The Gift of Listening


Passing on the Faith

Chad Diegle, Director of Youth Ministries

9/18/19

I so wish, as a parent myself, that I could impart faith on my children by dropping them off at church, similar to soccer practice or their education at school.  However, I have learned over the years that this model simply isn’t as effective as we parents might have hoped.  I think that we all know that we have the most profound effect on our children’s lives, but sometimes we don’t always know how to impart the “faith” side of our lives onto our children.  Well, I don’t have the answers to this difficult dilemma, but I now know that my hunch was correct.  How we model faith for our children is, in fact, key to them carrying on the faith in their own lives.  Know that you are not alone in wondering how best to pass on your faith, and we here at Desert Cross want to walk with you as you discover how this important task might be carried out.

Click the link below to explore this topic further.  Share a comment below.  Let’s share the faith with our kids together.

Passing on the Faith


Generation after Generation

Chad Diegle, Director of Youth Ministries

8/19/19

My thoughts come from the recurring sentiment that older generations have towards youth.  I have heard, about a million times, that “today’s youth are (fill in the blank).”  The adjective where you fill in the blank is hardly ever a positive one.  Today, I most often hear that Millennials are lazy, entitled, and have no work ethic.  Before they were here, I often heard that the Gen X Generation was not patriotic, defiant, and selfish.  We all know what the Baby Boomers were like in the 60’s, and I am sure their parents and grandparents thought the world was doomed.  I would imagine this cycle of worrying about the next generation has plagued us since the beginning of time.  However, I’m challenging you to fight it.

Read the following article for a quick look into why these negative sentiments creep into our psyche.

Maybe we can start discussing what makes our differences beautiful rather than ugly. Start the conversation in the comment section below.

Generation after Generation

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