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Published on November 14th, 2012 | by Brett Harris

A Challenge From Zimbabwe


There aren’t too many positive news stories about teenagers — and sometimes you have to go to Zimbabwe to find them. But here’s a story about two schoolboys whose incredible discovery gave them a chance to help their families and invest in their further education. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is two Zimbabwean boys’ treasure” — or something like that.


Turning Bad Eggs Good

The ZimbabweanJuly 11, 2012 by Staff Reporter

Two enterprising schoolboys from Rusike, Takudzwa Munemo and Panashe Katito, have come up with an innovative way of earning money by collecting eggs dumped by chicken producers and hatching them.

“We got into the project by accident. It all started when we went to a dump yard one Saturday afternoon. At first we collected the eggs for fun and took them home. We were surprised to find out the following morning that some of the eggs had produced healthy chickens. In fact, out of the 50 eggs collected, 30 had produced chickens,” said Takudzwa.

He said they soon made regular trips to the dump to collect discarded eggs. “We normally pick the eggs on Friday afternoons after school. Since we started the venture, we have successfully bred more than 500 chickens. We sell some of the chickens young, or rear them for family consumption,” said Takudzwa.“Our families can now afford to eat chicken,” said Panashe.

They sell some day old chicks to willing families at $0.50 each. Mature chickens sell for $7 per bird. The boys are grateful for their supportive parents who provided them with poultry feed.

“We owe our success mainly to our dedicated parents, who provided us with chicken feed and other forms of support during the early days of the venture. Now, we can sell chickens to cover stock feed expenses,” said Takudzwa.

Takudzwa’s father, Edison Munemo, described his son as a hardworking and successful business person in the making.

“Since Takudzwa embarked on the project, he has never looked back. At first I thought he would falter midstream. He proved me wrong as he turned himself into an invaluable family provider.”

He said proceeds from the chicken project would be channeled into the payment of family school fees and other expenses.


The highlight of the story for us was the quote from Tukudzwa’s father, when he said, “Since Takudzwa embarked on the project, he has never looked back. At first I thought he would falter midstream. He proved me wrong as he turned himself into an invaluable family provider.”

When we read that we thought, “Wow. It’s got to feel pretty good to be an invaluable family provider.” Then we wondered, “How many teenagers in the United States are invaluable family providers? Or invaluable donors? Or invaluable tithers? How many teens are working jobs to help support their families? How many are giving to urgent needs around the world? How many are tithing at least ten percent of their income to their local church?”

Having More Isn’t An Excuse To Do Less

I don’t know about you, but we see a lot of teenagers with jobs, making money, buying Starbucks, buying clothes, saving up for a new computer, or a car, or a gaming system, or a ski trip, etc. — but give next to nothing away to anyone.

The other week my dad held an event for about thirty teenagers and a few parents. A guest speaker invited people to donate towards digging a well in Cambodia. In the end they raised only $85 that evening — all from parents. Not one dollar was given by a young adult. There wasn’t even an attempt to give. It was as if the young people didn’t think the invitation applied to them.

The Statistics Back Us Up

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2004, a twenty-year-old making $23,000 a year, will give away less than one percent (or $180) of his or her after-tax income — while spending 11.2% (or $2,500) annually on clothing and entertainment. We’re sorry, but that’s pathetic.

According to The Barna Group, only 3 out of 10 twentysomethings have given to a church in the past year — less than half the number of older adults who have donated in the same period. And this is not a measure of donation size, but simply whether any donation whatsoever was made. Troubling study after troubling study makes it clear that young people today, even those who can afford it, are not being generous. We know how to get, but not how to give.

So what about you? Takudzwa and Panashe are giving 100% of what they earn towards supporting their families. Where does the money you earn go?


Join the discussion by answering the following questions:

  • Do you have a job or some other means of earning income?
  • How do you use that money? Where does it usually go?
  • The last time an offering or donation was taken up, did you contribute anything? Why or why not?

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About the Author

is a loving husband to Ana, a devoted follow of Jesus Christ, founder of TheRebelution.com, and co-author of Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations along with his twin brother, Alex. When he isn't writing or blogging he can be found reading, playing basketball, or being an all-around goof ball.



  • Renee

    Its really humbling to hear stories like that. I think its so sad how we have so much to give and yet give practically nothing out of our wealth while poor kids like those two boys give everything they have to help support their family. It shows that we need to get some perspective! Thanks for posting this. I’m going to think twice when considering buying something for my own pleasure or giving money to help those who really need it.

  • http://abigail613.wordpress.com Abigail Snyder

    As a 23-year-old earning a decent salary, and even as the 21-year-old of two years ago that was working 80 hours a week to pay for full-time college, it has been one of my goals to never give away less than 10% of my gross earnings. At times, that meant that I had little or nothing left over to spend on “fun” because college and other mandatory expenses sapped my bank accounts dry. Now that I’ve graduated from college, work less, and earn more, I am trying to expand on that. Setting a budget has been helpful, where at least 10% of my paycheck gets funneled into various missionary and ministry funds, and another $20 per paycheck becomes what I’ve designated as an “Abundant Life” fund. This is an idea that a mentor suggested early this summer, where that $20 is money that I’ve designated to give as the Lord leads–whenever and wherever. So this last month, I took a young teen from church out to lunch. Another time, I was able to give to a friend’s mission trip to Nepal. To be quite honest, it is harder to limit my spending now than it was when I was in college and had less money to spend. Now, with a job that amply provides for my needs, for giving, and even extra to put in savings, I fear that, though I’m spending within my means, that I’m spending beyond my needs. Honestly, I need to go back over my budget and start sticking to it–even when it means forgoing something I want and can “afford” for the mere purpose of developing self-control with my finances.

  • http://notjustateen.blogspot.com Nathan Tasker

    Wow, definitely humbling. I don’t have an “official” job, though I would like one. I currently help my grandfather during the summers in order to make money. Most of my money pays for Scouting trips, and I’ve almost always disciplined myself to give at least 10% in tithes to my church. I definitely like Abigail’s idea of an “Abundant Life” fund. Even though I tithe regularly, I’ve felt that going through those certain motions wasn’t enough to make me feel like I’m doing something good. (I’ll definitely be putting that fund into practice, thanks…) I certainly feel that giving of ourselves (including the monetary part) is a necessary part of being a Christian. Even the simple things Abigail mentioned such as taking someone out to lunch, contributing to a mission trip, or anything you feel lead to do can make a HUGE impact on someone else’s life; much bigger than that $20 could do for yourself.

  • Ariel

    Just recently I’ve acquired my first job (I’m 15), not long enough to get a pay check yet. But I do earn a little from babysitting and odd jobs.
For me, giving has always been easy. I’ve never known want, or true hunger, or what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. Since I get all I need from my parents, I tend to have an “you need it more than I do – here, take it!” attitude about giving, because I’ve never actually needed the money. I pray that as I come to support myself in future that God will continue to bless me with a generous spirit.
I often struggle with how much of my money to save for future, rather than how much to give. How much do I put in my bank account? I’ve always saved at least half of what I earn. This seems wise, but I sometimes wonder if I don’t get so caught up in wisely planning that I forget to trust.
Thanks for posting inspiring stories like this one! These kind of stories make a person feel warm inside and noble, ready to sacrifice self, to jump up and fight the good fight. God bless you!

  • Caleb

    I think that the message of this article is this: Give to God, and he will give to you. The Lord give you your income in the first place so why not give at least 10%??! If you give more to the Lord, he will supply you with more to give back to him. Way to go Rebelutionaries!!!!

  • http://katie-joy.blogspot.com Katie Duffy

    I wrestled greatly with this last January when I returned from my first missions trip and started my first job post-college. Even though I wasn’t in school, I still didn’t have much by American standards – I was making $650-850 depending on the month and supporting myself completely in expensive Southern California. It didn’t go very far.

    But God had good timing. I worked with the Integrated Tribal Development Program in a remote region in Northern Thailand called Mah-Oh-Jo. While life there has changed drastically over the last 8 years since ITDP started working there, these people still have nothing compared to what I have been given. I had never realized how much the Lord had blessed me until then…

    So when I came back, I spent a long time praying over what it looked like to glorify that Lord with my finances. I am definitely not perfect – there have been months where what I intended to do did not happen or when I give less than joyfully. But in general, my goal is to be overly generous beyond what I feel makes sense. If it means sacrifice, so be it. My trust is in the Lord and not in how much money is in my bank account. So I have three regular things that I support – my church (roughly 10% of my monthly income), a child from the village where I worked in Thailand, and a missionary family to Niger. In addition to that, I, like, Abigail, have a budget category that I have named “Extra Joy” – whether that means providing a meal for a family from church with a new baby, blessing my roommates with gas, supporting a missions trip or something else.

    I also had to work through whether it was “ok” (honoring to the Lord) for me to buy things that I didn’t need…ultimately, I decided it was if two things were true: giving and saving were my first priorities and it was not feeding an idol (i.e., wanting to look beautiful to man, wanting to be accepted, etc.). God has blessed me immensely, even though I still don’t make very much. And while the Christian life is absolutely NOT about my comfort, God has chosen to give me more than I need. He is the source of all beauty and joy, but those things can often be found in human experiences. And so I don’t think it is wrong to spend money to rent a paddleboard or buy new shoes – I don’t have to feel guilty about that. However, it is also not wrong (and often the better thing) to willingly give those things up to bless others.

    Anyway…incredibly long response. I’m definitely still growing in this area, but it is an area that, by the grace of God, I am very aware of and seeking to honor the Lord in.

  • Lindsey

    I make an embarrassingly small amount of money, because most of my time goes toward school. I only have a few students that I teach English. But I’m trying to manage the small amount I have well – helping pay for college and giving to church. God has also been putting on my heart to give more to the needy. I know it’s not much, but I think it is good practice for when I actually make more money. If I can be faithful with little, hopefully I can be faithful with much(or at least more). :)

  • http://mylifewithamission.blogspot.com Alyssa

    I personally believe that my 10% (or more) does not need to be given to an actual church building but rather that it should be given to God (for some, that will mean giving to the local church; for others, it will mean giving to the worldwide body of Christ–the true church). I choose to give the firstfruits of my money to worthy organizations such as Gospel for Asia, World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, etc. “More than 95 percent of the total church budget in the United States is spent at home to maintain programs rather than to reach out in mission. Of the five percent that goes overseas to mission, less than half of one percent is used to reach the lost.” (K.P. Yohannan, The Road to Reality, p. 118) It is no wonder that there are so many unreached people groups in the world today. Not only do we not give enough to missions but we are giving to missionaries in places that are already reached so that they hear the Gospel multiple times while the unreached continue to go without hearing about Jesus even once. It saddens my heart and that is why I feel I must share this even if people get mad at me for it. I believe in giving my money where I know it will be used to directly meet the needs of the poorest of the poor and reach the unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I cannot in good conscience give my money to a place where I know most of it will go towards buying a new sound system or funding a youth group outing, etc. when there are families starving and dying without hearing the Gospel overseas. I hope you know I am writing this out of true concern and I realize that not all churches give alike. Some budget their money better than others; however, across the board, American churches are not spending their congregation’s money as they should.

  • http://jessicaletchford.com Jess

    That is challenging and inspiring. I work about 10 1/2 hours a week and I put 10% towards giving to God. I personally belive that we don’t need to give 10%. That was written in Old Testament, and in the New Testament God said that he just loves a cheerful giver, regardless of what that amount is (2 Corinthians, I think). My Mum also mentioned that when we look at how we can show hospitality, we know we can give our time, talents, home, money, friendship… but with God, we say he only wants our money. I’m not sure that’s how God wants us to live!

    However, this does not denote what is being said here, and I think that it is a very important challenge to pull up our socks and be actively generous. I love Abigail’s idea of Abundant Life – thanks for that Abigail!

    I normally save up my tithing money, and give that towards something he puts on my heart – an organisation, our Church, etc. The rest of my money goes towards savings for big projects (like a car, house, etc.), presents for people, and then bits and pieces that I want – CD’s, books, etc. I’ll be thinking about this challenge on how I can be a generous giver and make the most of my money.

  • Jasmin

    I make about $100 a week from tutoring in music usually. After some study into the nature of tithing, I found out some interesting things. If any of you would like to find out more, you should. I want go into detail here. But for now, my God provides the money I need right when I need it and it goes towards His plan right now – college fund. The weight of how “good a Christian you are” can not be weighed. It doesn’t exist. do not be proud you sacrificed some money to donate. It does not elevate you or lower you. Either way, one is a redeemed, of the elect. also, do not shy away from anything the Father calls you to give!

  • leah

    hi guys!

    i have read your book about 10 times and honestly still challenged by it. i dont tithe yet but i will soon. you guys have inspired me to really follow god with everything. before i was in that complancency trap. i was already the good little christian girl….so why try even harder? i found your book through my mom…she gave it to me to read and i did and loved it since!
thanks for everything…i look up to you guys as a teen in california

  • Mallory

    I do not have a job, but I have been thinking about tithing. I always considered my father’s contribution to be for my whole family, so I never really worried about giving money to my church. Most of the money I have was given to me for birthdays and holidays, and I did not believe I had to tithe what was a gift. However, I have thought that maybe I should tithe that money anyway, because God gave it to me, and I want Him to have some of it. Your post helped me to decide. Thanks so much for an encouraging and very thought provoking post! God bless you!

  • http://kingsdaughterblog.blogspot.com Hannah

    I LOVE to give! It makes me so happy to see the joy in someones face as they receive a gift.

    I recently gave a crocheted blanket to a friend who is getting married soon. It turns out that she had been wanting something like that for a long time. Then today I made some brownies for a friend who I work with to celebrate her birthday. She also seemed very happy and blessed. I think I got more joy out of giving the gifts then they did out of receiving it. ;) It just made me so happy to see their joy!

    I love to be able to use my money to bless others!

  • Mallory

    I do contribute, but not to my family’s income exactly. I raise goats as well as other farm animals. The milk I receive from my goats contributes to our fridge, and the baby goats or “kids” are sold and most of that money goes to buying hay and feed. Hay and feed cost a lot of money where we live though, so in the end none is made. I also contribute to the house by helping my mother in the kitchen and with the cleaning ect. I still do not do half as much as I should. (I am still working on that;) I agree with what you say about young people contributing and helping to provide for their families. We all need to do our part! Once again, thanks for a great post!

  • http://theteentheme.wordpress.com Christy

    I make a bit of money by teaching piano lessons to little kids, and I always tithe whenever I get a little saved up. Sometimes I hear people talking about why they don’t tithe, but in my opinion, God gave you that money: is it that big of a deal to give just 10% back to Him? Awesome post, God bless! :)

  • Angela

    I do not have a job. My only “income” is “birthday money” from relatives. I also occasionally (very occasionally) babysit, or my grandmother will “hire” me for “odd jobs.” Even though the birthday money isn’t exactly the “fruit of my labor”, I have recently decided to tithe from that, anyway. The rest of my money I generally split into “spending” and “saving”. I think I really liked the idea of an “Abundant Life” fund, Abigail! I’ll look forward to adding that in how I divide my money.

  • Samantha

    Ever since I was old enough to work, I have always had at least one part-time job, sometimes two – I’ve even juggled three jobs on occasion. My parents are in full-time ministry and we have a little bit bigger family, so we really don’t have the money for extra things. I found out early on that if I wanted anything beyond the necessities of life – even my driver’s license – I had to work for it. Since I’ve graduated from high school, my parents have set up boundaries of what they will buy for me now, and when I turn 18, I know I’ll probably be charged rent. I pay for my own gas and car insurance/repairs, and help out with the food bill.

    God has blessed me with the ability to give, and so I do. I only give about 10% of what I earn since most of my earnings goes into savings for school. However, my prayer is to one day give away 90% of everything I earn, and live on 10%. I know that sounds crazy but I’ve met people who God has blessed with that ability. An “Abundant Life” fund or an “Extra Joy” fund is a great way to put some creativity in your giving, as well as being open to giving however God leads. I’ve heard of funds like those and have one myself.

    For all you who don’t make much, or even anything, remember the story of the widow with two coins. That was all she had, and she gave it away. The Lord is more pleased with one who gives all, no matter how little, than one who gives less than they could, no matter how much. (Mark 12:42-44; Luke 21:2-4)

  • http://www.notjustateen.blogspot.com Nathan Tasker

    Wow, these comments have been very encouraging and helpful in this area of giving. I have always given to church and to friends, but being that I try to be careful with my money, I haven’t always given freely from my heart to those who really need it. I pray that God will strengthen me in this area.

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  • Emma

    I don’t have an actual job, but whenever I get hired to babysit or throw hay or any other odd jobs I divide it up to save for different things (spending money, college, savings account, paying my mom back from the things she helped out withand I still owe her) but I make sure that first I give 10% to the church. I don’t exactly contribute to the family income, but I save my money so my parents have to help out less with the things I personally want–which is not a selfish statement, though really it is. Because, the way I see it, if my parents won’t have the money to pay my way through college (which I know they won’t) then I have to be responsible enough to put away some money and also to not rely on them to buy my semi-expensive flute or something like that! This was a very interesting post that really made me think so thank you so much!

  • George Siems

    Awesome story, love that they were just happy to do it!
    I have, since as long as I can remember, always tithed 10% of my gross income and then given extra (sometimes large) amounts to specific needs or something that comes up etc. I give a decent portion to the church here, then also overseas missionary organizations etc. All in all its one of the best things I have ever done. I’ve learned to live without that extra money and don’t miss it at all. The joy of giving, even when it’s tough, is priceless!

    Do it and God will bless!

  • Tacicia

    Do you have a job or some other means of earning income?
    I had a job, but I had to quit. It was not the place for me. I am currently seeking employment.

    How do you use that money? Where does it usually go?
    When I was working, I would use my money for school transportation, tithes, offerings, donations, The rest was spend on things I wanted or put in savings.

    The last time an offering or donation was taken up, did you contribute anything? Why or why not?
    When I was working, I tried to give at every opportunity. I feel that my money is not just for me, but for the benefit of others.

    This article really challenges me. I am usually just satisfied with working for someone. However, finding something that God wants me to do is something I’ll have to work harder at.

  • Victoria

    Wow – really thought provoking. Can’t tell you how much of an inspiration you two guys have been!

  • Amy

    Its sad that a lot of young people don’t feel they should give, but encouraging to read here that a lot do also, I think its important to give, but wisely, don’t destroy your own future and the possibility of doing even greater things for God by giving everything now, prepare for the future but be generous. Give a little, spend a little, save a little.
    I have found that it is most rewarding when I use my time and money for things that don’t just benefit me, but others, its really challenging to think about how much more I could do.

  • Kathryn

    I’ve really been struggling with the area of giving lately, I don’t have a “job” because I’m only 14 but I do get some money every month. I have always saved. Whenever I get money, I normally put half in savings, and half in spending. Normally what is in spending goes towards things I want, or want to get for others, in the form of birthday presents and the like. I don’t normally give. I don’t normally tithe (though I also don’t believe 10% tithing is a necessity commanded by God). God has really been convicting me of my lack of a generous heart lately, and this post just hit me right between the eyes. It’s like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about giving. I’ve sort of been trying to make excuses, like I don’t have that much money, or, I’m saving it for good things, like mission trips. But the truth is: I have more money than I need. I already mentioned I only put half in savings, so that leaves me half that most of the time is spent exclusively on me. It is hard for me to give, but I know Jesus said you can’t serve God and money. You either hate the one and love the other, or love one and hate the other. So, thanks for a very, very convicting post. And, could you possible pray for me? I need to let go of money and things like that, everything it represents. I can’t do that on my own.

  • Jason

    It’s amazing what two kids can do to help support their families.

  • Lillie

    I don’t have a job, probably because I’m 14, but I mow the lawn at our house and get money for it. I don’t spend it on my family. I save it and use it on things I think matter to me. But in reality I am putting things that matter to me before the ultimate one who sacrificed his life for us, GOD. I don’t usually put anything in the offering plate, and that’s because I’m a lazy person who doesn’t want to give ten percent, really I just sit there and act like I forgot but I was “saving” it for myself. My church is having a sermon series on finances right now. And it is way too high in education for my understanding, but this post said it all for me… if we have money to spend and want it all for ourselves, them we are selfish spoiled brats. We should use it to glorify God and help support our families. So thank you so much for helping me realize what I should do with my money. God spoke through you, a person to “dumb it down for me” and you didn’t even realize it. Again thank you. And please pray for me to realize my true potential to others and that I will make a difference in their lives. I am struggling a lot at school with remembering that there is a God.

  • Lil’ Mike

    All we have God gave us so we need to give what we have to glorify Him. No matter the income, age, or time people have we need to give something back. My older brother once told me “God has givin us the talents we have and if we use them to glorify him he will give us more talents to glorify him by.” We need to learn that the abilities we have should be used to glorify Him. And we can do that by paying in time, and stuff other than money.

  • brandyn

    I work at my grandma’s family owned shop we make boat covers and my job is to repair them. I save some of my money but i also give to my church. this is something my parents taught me to do at a younger age. i donate as much as i can so the last time i gave was last month. when i give away money i make sure i do it when i am ready and not thinking “man i could use this money somewhere else”

  • Lilia

    I have a one day a week job and I usually give a tithe to church. However, I was still convicted by this post because it is hard for me to give away any more money than necsasary. I need to remember that my money belongs to God and I must honor Him with it. Thanks so much for all the wonderful posts on your blog!

  • Lil’Mike

    I am 13 I have no job but I help out where I can and where I am needed. And it makes me feel good when someone tells me thank you and has a seriousness in their voice and that sometimes is all the payment I need. If you are struggling to remember there is a God when at school just go look at nature or someone whom you are friends with and it will remind you there is a God he gave me this friend. And there has to be a God because who else made the beauty in nature.

  • Andrew Fields

    I’m a 17 year old leading my local youth group. I have a question for anybody out there to answer. Today’s youth groups are becoming more and more like social hangouts, and game oriented instead of focusing on Christ. I tried to change that, so that we had less screwing around and more putting our minds on God. Almost ALL of the regulars left. My question is, “Is it wrong to consider youth group as a place to just hangout with friends, play dodge ball, and hear about fifteen minutes of something ‘God’ oriented?”

    • Joseph Braun

      I’m not sure. It seems that those people who left aren’t really that devoted to Christ, just more caught up in having fun or they don’t have that high of a view of God so they may view Him as something to be taken casually. I would definitely encourage focusing on Christ more, otherwise what is the difference between youth group and just a hangout? I think though that it may be good to have something sort of like this for people to be introduced some to the basics of following Christ but if possible have another time of more focused discipleship stuff. Also, make it clear that following Christ isn’t just coming to church or the less serious gathering and not doing bad things. This way people know that they aren’t that committed by just attending the game time. If you can’t have two separate times, I’m not sure what the best balance is, but pray about it and ask others to also, other committed youth or adults. The most important thing though is to pray (and for that matter fast too) asking for God to change peoples’ hearts toward Him.

  • http://www.bloomthemagazine.com/ Emily H.

    I am 17 and just graduated early from high school (homeschool) a year early at 16. Since graduating I have started a photography business. Slowly, but surly it is coming along. Bloom! the only magazine for Christian girls that I help with has really taught be a lot about photography.
    Another learning experience has been working part time as a paralegal
    at the law office my dad works at. There have been several times that I did not know how or what do about/with something and God has given me the answer.
    Yet, another work in progress is my horse training “dream”. I have a coming two-year-old colt that I’m training for myself. I’ve also been asked to start a couple fillies for the lady I got the colt from. Every time I work with a horse it seems that I’m not the one doing the teaching…Rather God is teaching me through that proses. Patience, gentleness, even self-control (There are plenty of times I’d like to lose my temper with a stubborn horse, but with God’s grace I don’t)!
    Each of these experiences are blessings! Each of them have been through God’s leading and His planning! He is truly an awesome God! The question is: How am I using what I earn from these “odd jobs” for Him? Right now, I’m not. That’s something God has really put on my heart lately. How can I use it for Him? I’m not exactly guaranteed a salary so I don’t feel that I can sign up to sponsor a child, but at the same time God says, “Have faith that I will provide!” I am praying about what He wants me to do. I’m also planning to really look for ways to give to those in need around me.
    Thanks for being there to post just what I need to hear! I will be working and looking for new opportunities to give!

    God bless!

    In Him,
    Emily

  • http://www.bloomthemagazine.com/ Emily H.

    @Andrew Fields
    My family currently does “home-church”. My dad teaches a lesson, we sing praise songs, and those of us that have been baptized take Communion. We home-school and live in a rural area without any other home-schoolers within 30 miles. We just haven’t found a church home that understands our convictions here yet. When we lived in town though, I was involved in church youth group. You are very right that most youth groups are just hang-outs. In fact, most are no better than any teen hang-out other than a 5 min. devo right before the bell. In the youth group I was a part of I was made fun of every Sunday and Wednesday. I was encouraged by the other kids to disrespect my parents and doubt their authority. It pulled me away from my family and I found myself trying to make the other kids like me. There was bullying, games, bad language, inappropriate topics discussed, and a quick devo.
    Now I don’t want it to sound like I am against youth group because for some kids and with the right focus it can be a great thing. To answer your question, I think there has to be moderation on both sides. Youth group can’t be all games and chit-chat, but it also can’t be a constant Bible-beating. I’ve never been in the leader position of a youth group, but what I’d try to do is a little of each. Maybe, have a lesson first off, and them have an activity or project. Time where kids can chat, but be doing something worthwhile. Like putting together parachutes for Voice of the Martyrs or write to prisoners, packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child or serving at a homeless shelter. The main issue with the youth group I was in was the lack of seriousness and focus. No one was focused on God and no one was being encouraged or serving others.
    I don’t know if this helped or not, but I will be praying for you! God will direct you and He is always right! Have a blessed day!

    In Him,
    Emily

  • Lil’ Mike

    I see the same thing in my church. And my youth leader sees it and is working to fix it. But if they left because of change it means they came for the wrong reasons and they could not accept that change so they left.

  • http://www.bloomthemagazine.com/ Emily H.

    It’s really sad! That time and those friends could be such a tool for God!

  • Kayla

    I am 15 and I do not have an official ‘job’ because that is hard to get at my age, but I babysit pretty regularly, charging $10 an hour. I can make a good amount of money doing this, and I put about half of it into a jar I have to go on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. I have already been there twice with my church and I am going again this January. So when the offering bag comes around, no, I don’t put any of my money into it, but that is because the money is going to the mission trip instead. :)

  • Lilia

    It is really sad about the youth groups. My family goes to a Primitve Baptist church, and we don’t have youth group or anything, which allows families to worship together. I think that if the youth group takes place during church services that it should be just focused on studying the Bible. However, if it’s just a casual thing during the week it might be fine to spend a good bit of time just hanging out. One thing that I’ve done before that me and the other young people really enjoyed is having a Q&A session. We wrote down our questions about God and put them all in a bowl. Then some pastors took out the slips of paper one by one and aswered them as well as they could. You might be able to do something like that with your youth group. Hope this helps!

  • http://vonguntens.com McKenna

    I LOVE to serve and give! My family and I have been serving foster kids this month. We bought Christmas presents, and we helped out with a Christmas party for them, and did crafts with them! I just love to see their faces light up when they get to create something, and that you feel great in the process of helping them. It’s sad that these kids are in foster care because something happened in their lives, but I’m glad I get to be somebody to make them happy if not for even a day, but a few hours.
    I am hopefully going to Haiti on my FIRST missions trip! I still have my Christmas money, and I don’t really see what I need more off. I’m thinking of giving, instead of keeping. I mean, we have SO much, and they have nothing.
    When you make somebody else happy, you’ll find that you feel good inside. Try it! I LOVE to serve and give!

  • phone4711

    I loved the story on how the people got a small business for selling chickens, just a little motivation can go a long way

  • Katie

    I tithe from my alllowance, and am saving babysitting money for a missions trip next summer by putting about 75% away…Is that tithing, technically?

    • Grace

      No, That’s not tithing. Tithing is a certain amount set aside every week/month/year for the work of God. Anything else is giving.

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