The Hard Truths Prepare Kids for Suffering

| February 19, 2015

As a youth pastor and Christian parent, one consideration tends to dominate my mindset: am I fostering sustainable faith in Christ in my students and children? I have a limited season of special influence within these relationships, and I want to do everything within my power to cultivate enduring Christian faith. 

At the 2013 Rooted Conference, Jared Wilson opened with a penetrating question: will my children be prepared to suffer? Jesus guarantees that all Christians will encounter tribulation (John 16:33). Consequently, a critical aspect of youth discipleship involves anticipating the tragedy that awaits our children and training students in such a way that they can walk through suffering while trusting God and his goodness.

Worst Nightmare 

My theoretical rumination about preparing kids to suffer became far more personal near the end of 2013. I often worried about whether I was prepared to suffer. As a white American male from an upper class family, my life had been relatively easy, and I feared that one day something awful would happen that would shatter my faith. What would happen, if I, a person who had led hundreds of students during a 10-year youth ministry, walked away from Christ? What was bad enough…

To read the rest of this article, visit