I have steadfastly maintained that church should be the thing that backs down in the lives of busy teenagers and that it is contrary to our purpose to get competitive with soccer and band camp in our youth ministry programming choices. Church participation really is an end in itself. Growing together in community–learning, serving, caring–is the point. You don’t advance that cause with a punitive attendance policy.
Youth will sign up for other things over church retreats and mission trips. I get that. I’m not mad about it. I’ll back down.
The instance that is harder to back down from, though, is the backing out. I’ve seen it happen more than once that the student who has already committed to the retreat gets invited to something else and so changes her mind and backs out.
Does backing down enable backing out?