SITUATION 1A few of us YL leaders have had that gut-wrenching feeling of sitting in a movie theater with our high school friends when THAT image comes across the big screen. Why didn’t I check and see why this movie is rated R? I thought it was probably just a few swear words and some violence? WHOOPS! It’s a mistake I don’t want to make again.SITUATION 2How about when kids call and ask if you want to go to the movies? Of course you do! Any YL leader feels honored that kids actually want to hang out with you…until you get to the theater and realize they NEEDED an “adult” to get them in the R movie. Its too late to call and ask their parents…hmmm.SITUATION 3You just get done watching Harry Potter 13 and its only 9pm and your high school friends don’t have to be home til midnight, but they’re out of $ (spent it all on a 96oz Diet Coke), but still want to do something fun. You could go roll one of your YL teammates houses, but then you see that the 3D version of “Never Say Never” is still playing on the screen next door, and starting in only 5 minutes. Its a no-brainer, its free, and your high school friends LOVE the Beebs. You could be the cool YL leader and get a free 2 for 1 deal. And you’ve done it before. Its not really stealing because the movies are overpriced anyway.How are we as YL leaders to respond?
One website that has been extremely helpful for me is Kids-in-Mind.com. It lays out why movies are rated a certain rating. I’d recommend taking the extra 3 minutes and checking out that website before you invite a high school friend to see a movie.
Talk To Parents
As a parent myself for only 2 years, I already wish I had done a way better job communicating with parents over the past years of being a YL leader. It’s crazy how much a parent can love their child and desire to protect them. Its our job as leaders to build a bridge between teenagers and their parents, not to enable them to grow farther apart. If a kid wants you to take them to a movie, take the extra step and TALK to their parents. It might feel awkward, but its worth it.
Take The High Road
Kids watch everything you do. Our actions speak way louder than our words. If you doubt, don’t. Let’s be above reproach. Let’s be leaders who “live lives worthy of the calling we have received.” (Ephesians 4) We have great opportunities to teach kids how to handle temptation and how to choose the road less traveled by the world. Sure, it takes more brain energy to think of fun creative ideas then to just settle for the easy out…but the view from the high road is always better.