The Stigmatized and Neglected: Youth And The Church

The Stigmatized and Neglected: Youth And The Church

Lazy, apathetic, self-serving, self-entitled, disrespectful, troublemaking, change-agents.

If we were playing Catchphrase, by now someone in the room would inevitably blurted out the word “teenager.”

Granted, you’ve probably met some teenagers that would fit that description. At the same time, you’ve probably met some people in their 30s and 40s that fit that description, too.

Don’t you love labels?

Speaking of labels, I’m a millennial.[1] According to the experts, so is every teenager alive right now.

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The Stigmatized and Neglected: Introverts in the Church

The Stigmatized and Neglected: Introverts in the Church

 As a self-proclaimed introvert, I understand all too well the astigmatisms that come with being an introvert in the church. As a Youth Minister, it becomes even more common to hear someone remark or make comments in regards to behavior and personality.

"He's in a bad mood."
"She's being anti-social."
"Well, he didn't talk to me today and was really rude"
"She just didn't seem like herself today. She wasn't quite as perky."

The list could go on and on, but I will stop there. Many churches tend to be extroverted places where the introverted are marginalized with a great potential for misunderstanding and judgment. As a leader, often times, I feel as if I am judged far too often for some introverted personality traits. There are days where I wish I could put a smile on my face and be the most outgoing person you will meet. However, that is simply not the case nor will it ever be the case. 

Introverted people are often misunderstood, especially in a church setting. 

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The Stigmatized and Neglected: Military Families

The Stigmatized and Neglected: Military Families

My husband is a Loadmaster in the Air Force and his job flies him to new places almost every week. I am a stay at home mother and my job flies me to new places almost every week too, usually off the handles. Our life is a constant blur of flight schedules, TDYs, doctor’s appointments, bottles, dirty diapers, laundry, dishes, cleaning house, and total, complete, bone-numbing exhaustion. While we honestly do love every second of all of that, it’s nice to have Sundays with our church family. We get the opportunity to be around people that love us and support us on our Christian walk and that will gladly hold our baby for a few minutes when our arms get tired.

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The Stigmatized and Neglected: In The Days of Jesus

The Stigmatized and Neglected: In The Days of Jesus

Touch. Human touch. You don't realize its value until it is absent. Babies can die without it. It's what Gary Chapman describes as one of the five "love languages." Whether it's a hug or a handshake...a high five or a fist bump...the holding of hands or an arm around a shoulder...a willingness to engage in human touch conveys to the other that he/she is valuable and accepted. Touch not only engages the hands and arms of its recipient. It engages the soul. To refuse a gesture of touch ( to refrain from the handshake or the hug) says to the other that "I don't trust you"...."You're not worthy of my time"...or maybe even "I don't love you."

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