In our staff meeting today we picked up our discussion of teenage pregnancies in our local community. We have been discussing, discerning, praying for ways for our church to connect and serve our local community better.
We have one of the finest day cares and schools in our Learning Center and our Pre-school, and we have a high school just blocks away. We started conversations about how we might partner with the high school to take care of the babies while their moms would finish up high school.
We are convinced that teenagers who do not graduate from high schools do not have many options available for them in the future. If our communities want to develop a better future, we have to invest in our young people in trouble today. What are these girls and their children going to do in the future, if the moms do not even graduate from high schools?
But the thing that has totally taken our staff by surprise is that the ones who are most desperate for help are middle school pregnancies - twelve to fourteen year-olds! The ones who are most at risk right now in our community are the 12 to 14 year-olds with babies. There are already established programs for high school pregnancies. There are limited programs for middle school pregnancies.
This breaks my heart, and I know it breaks your's too.
We've got to engage. We have to do something.
I don't know exactly what and how, but churches have to engage. Christian people have to engage and love on these middle school teenagers who are pregnant and their babies. If we don't engage and help these teens to graduate and gain critical life skills, and help with their babies, what kind of future will they have? And eventually, whose problems will they be ten-twenty years from now?
Christian folks must engage. Together, we can come up with concrete ways to help both the teens and their babies to have a promising future. Churches that engage can help our communities shape the future destinies of both the teenage moms and their babies, and our combined future together.
We at the Little Church on the Prairie might not be able to change the world, but we can make all the difference in the world to a middle-school teen who is pregnant, her child, and her family. And one by one, as many and as much as God enables and equips us to handle, we will make a world of difference for some.
Don't know exactly what shape and form this is going to mean for the Little Church right now, but I will do whatever I can to encourage my congregation to engage now and make a difference for the future.
Your prayers, ideas, investment of time is both appreciated and will be needed as we engage our community with the love of Christ.