Stuff we learned on Sunday
Youth Sunday used to be on Mother’s Day in my congregation. After repeated complaints from a small sector of people whose own children were no longer youth, I changed it. Now Youth Sunday follows Mother’s Day by one week.
So the Sunday for planning Youth Sunday is now . . . you guessed it: Mother’s Day.
This is so much worse than having Youth Sunday on Mother’s Day in several ways. Fewer youth participate. My neighbor chastises me for taking teens away from Dear Old Mom. The mother of my own child sure as schnitzel doesn’t appreciate it.
Effective next year, I’m changing Youth Sunday back to Mother’s Day.
Of course, Youth Sunday is one of those pieces of church life that always feels like an outdated exercise. Parading teens in front of the congregation one Sunday a year can be an excuse for not pressing their role as worship leaders on 51 other Lord’s Days, or it can be a platform for gimmicky shenanigans in the service of cuteness.
These are my fears every year as the day approaches. As I negotiate a “Happy” Call to Worship energizer and patiently explain why students may not sing “The Misty Mountains Cold” as an Introit, I am 100% convinced that I am presiding over a farce. And then Youth Sunday comes, the teens are earnest, they connect with the congregation, the gospel is proclaimed, and the church is built up. I go home ashamed to have doubted them.
So, yeah, next year it’s on Mother’s Day again.