EVERETT — Churches have begun to see a greater influx of teenagers coming from broken homes and other strained circumstances that can make for a particularly poor Christmas. Youth pastor Shawn Roberts of New Life Foursquare Church in Everett makes it a point to offer a little holiday cheer for teens from both sides of the tracks.
Q: Why Christmas parties? Aren’t most youth groups pretty quiet over the holiday?
A: I think it’s important to have these events. On Wednesday it’s about worship and God’s word, but the teens also need these fun times, just like the leaders. If you play with them, you can pray with them. Plus, it’s a Friday night, and there is no school, and they have to do something. And with some of our kids being from a rougher crowd, I would rather have them with us and some great Christian leaders. It’s just about fun.
Q: Are parties like this important to teens, especially to those with a rough background?
A: Based upon the crowd that we reach out to, for some of them, Christmas means nothing to them. This is the only place where they are going to hear, “Merry Christmas.” We reach a pretty wide socioeconomic base, and it is what it is, unfortunately.
Q: Is there a concern, since school is out for the holiday?
A: For many teens, the holidays are made for boredom, which is a precursor to mischief. They are not in school, so they need to work a little harder to hang out with their friends. The kids get as much holiday blues as adults do. With all the commercialism that goes into it, sometimes it’s almost anti-climactic for them. We bring them back to whether they get what they want or not. We remind them that they already got the best gift ever. Christmas, the day that grace was born.
Reporter Justin Arnold: 425-339-3432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.