Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders How to Address the Student #MarchForOurLives With Your Church

How to Address the Student #MarchForOurLives With Your Church

How can adults help this generation?

Jay: I think what struck me the most, of this moment, is one of the things that I heard one of the students say, when he said, “Parents, it’s time for you to start acting like adults.” I do think that there’s a sense where they don’t trust us any longer. Where they don’t feel like we’re handling it…They’re gravitating towards these particular gun measures…where they’re saying, “It’s time for somebody to do something,” and they don’t trust us to handle it any longer. To me, that’s what feels different. It feels as if there’s a group of young people that have finally said, “We don’t feel like you’re acting like adults.” Now, that doesn’t mean I totally agree with the way they’re responding, but I see where it’s coming from. In a lot of ways, look at the way we’re having a public dialogue. We’re not really acting like adults. We’re not handling things in an adult way.  

Even discussing this issue, the idea of changing gun laws, to the extent that some people want to do, would require changing the Second Amendment. That’s an immensely huge undertaking. It makes changing Roe v. Wade look very small, and we’ve been talking about that now for 45 years….Clearly, there’s a different feeling right now. That’s what I’m most interested in addressing, as somebody who works with young people. How can we help them process what’s going on, and get them into a productive direction with this, and with their relationship with God?

Mannie: [Adults are] not able to disagree, and have an intelligent conversation. I love the way my pastor says it. We don’t have to see eye-to-eye to walk hand-in-hand. It’s okay to disagree. It’s okay, but even having an ear to hear that perspective, and not just arguing yours. When you have this conversation, are you just waiting for that person to take a breath or pause, so that you can interject your moment, or your perspective? Or, are you really trying to hear what they’re coming from? I may have not experienced the same things that this man next to me has experienced. I personally have experienced a loss because of gun violence. When I was in high school, my senior year, one of my best friends was murdered at the age of 19. It hits deep for me. Now, my experience may be completely different from yours. My environment may be completely different from yours, which shifts our perspectives. We see things through the lens of the experiences that we’ve had. It’s having that conversation say, “Okay, maybe my perspective is different from yours, because I have not lived your life, or walked in your shoes.” – Mannie Marte of Mountain West Church

Todd: I think that’s the danger of what social media has brought on, is we argue with a screen. We don’t argue with someone face to face. I think that’s the danger. We live in this all-or-nothing society. This whole phrase, and you hear it in movies all the time, you hear it all the time, it’s, “If you’re not for me, you’re against me.” That’s not the truth. We live on these ends of all or nothing. We don’t live anywhere in between. I think what you’re saying is so right. We need to get face-to-face and have conversations with one another.