13 Reasons

Recently schools and youth workers across the country are helping parents and families arm themselves because Netflix released a movie called “13 reasons.” I’m personally choosing not to watch this movie - but several teachers I know and some veteran youth workers who are friends are pushing themselves to watch this movie that deals with teen suicide. 

I want to make some observations to try to help you as families. 

  1. Suicide is never to be glamorized or endorsed. I’ve had friends that killed themselves and the hole they left is tragic. 
  2. Ideation (the process wherein thought is introduced and then contemplated) connected to suicide is unhealthy for teenagers. Ruminating thoughts of this nature is simply not in the best interest of students. 
  3. If your student is interested in watching this, there are so many better options out there to watch. 
  4. Don’t feel guilty putting parental control settings onto your Netflix account. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to talk to your teen about the subject of suicide if they bring it up. Affirm your love and care for them. Let them know you are there to listen and love them. 

I know there are times when there are intended and unintended results. In this instance, some of the unintended results are a very wide stroke of overall negative influence. 

Know that as a ministry, we pray for our families and the teens in our community hoping for all to excel and thrive. It’s a very tough and fallen world. We’re striving to bring God’s kingdom agenda to this earth. People hurting themselves is not part of that agenda.  

Two important pieces of information

  1. At our last elders meeting, the leadership also made a decision to level off the berm area and add roughly 80 more parking spaces to our existing campus. We want to help facilitate people being able to get into our worship services. 
  2. Switching gears, this month Tarry Koutz is transitioning to a part-time role in our ministry that will focus on reaching older people and doing elements of our pastoral care. Tarry has served Forum incredibly on and off for over 30 years. It’s been an incredible joy to serve with this great servant of the Lord. 

Tyler Morris will be the developer of our first service. He and his team will, as ever, do an exceptional job helping all of us connect to Jesus. People have asked me if there’s going to be dramatic change in our first service as Tyler will be leading it.

This one is a simple answer: No. 

This Sunday we continue in our “My Story” series focusing on how Jesus changes our story. We are going to look at a high capacity person with great status, who came to follow Jesus. One of the things I love about Columbia, MO is that so many people I meet are high capacity people. One of the dilemmas with high capacity people is this: if they aren’t already in relationship with Jesus - their busyness, their personal learning, and even their status can get in the way of coming to know Him. We’re going to strive to equip all of us a little bit more on how to talk to and share your faith with them. If you know any people who fall into this category - do everything you can to get them to Forum this Sunday. 

Looking forward to another great encounter with God and you this Sunday.