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Today the World’s Mess Showed Up in Our Neighborhood

What a crazy world. My son Seth and daughter Estie were driving home and the entire neighborhood was blocked by police cars, ambulances and firetrucks. “What’s going on?” Estie asked. “There’s a gunman. The officers have him barricaded.” He had fired some shots. Good grief – this …
By Seth Barnes

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What a crazy world. My son Seth and daughter Estie were driving home and the entire neighborhood was blocked by police cars, ambulances and firetrucks.

“What’s going on?” Estie asked.

“There’s a gunman. The officers have him barricaded.”

He had fired some shots.

Good grief – this is Gainesville, GA! Uvalde is one thing, but Seth’s neighborhood is mostly old people. These days we can read about the latest crazy gunman daily on the front page (indeed, the story of this showed up online in real time). What is this world coming to?

A lot of us have theories about why things are a mess. It’s the emotional trauma of two years of lockdown. It’s our gun laws. It’s our politicians.

Maybe a better question is, “how do we respond to this?”

My answer is that this mess is a result of families and churches not doing what we’re supposed to do. We people of faith need to raise our kids differently.

What does that look like? It looks like a lot of things that are counter-cultural. This week it looks like a family mission trip. Estie and Seth each have little kids. Like all little kids, they need help navigating the world. The world tends to revolve around them. The result is a different kind of epidemic – an entitlement epidemic.

I’ve been fortunate to look at a number of different cultures and ways of raising children. And let me tell you, kids in America need help. They spend their days staring at their iphones, scrolling through social media. They don’t get disciplined. The consequence is not just entitlement, but often disrespect.

A lot of families have raised their kids in fear of a scary world. But on this mission trip, they get to go into another neighborhood and make friends with children who come from different countries. They get to serve. For this week, they are getting to see what it looks like to minister to others whose needs may be greater than their own.

The five families on this trip take seriously their job of raising kids to follow Jesus. For a week at least, we are seeing the kingdom come. It’s a start. If we want to change the world, let’s start with ourselves.

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