Rite of Passage

Most cultures throughout history understood the importance of training boys to become men and girls to become women. In Jewish culture it happened around age 12. Up until that point, parents were held responsible for their child’s actions. But at the Bar Mitzvah for boys and the Bat Mitzvah for girls, they became a son or daughter of the commandment. From that point on, they started taking responsibility for their own actions before God.

With a few exceptions, our culture has lost this milestone. Consequently, we have a lot of boys running around in men’s bodies… and a lot of girls running around in women’s bodies. We need to call boys and girls into adulthood.

We believe that young teens, their families, and our society would benefit greatly from recognizing, seizing, and celebrating the transition from childhood to adolescence. We are working on a process that will partner church and home in a rite of passage experience. Until this is ready, here are some resources to explore.

· The story of Jesus’ development at this stage is very suggestive as he begins to articulate his true identity while remaining obedient to his parents (Luke 2:41-52).

· Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father's Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis

· Raising a Modern-Day Princess by Pam Farrel

· Searching for Tom Sawyer: How Parents and Congregations Can Stop the Exodus of Boys from Church by Tim Wright

· Raising Boys by Design: What the Bible and Brain Science Reveal About What Your Son Needs to Thrive by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz, Michael Gurian, Ann McMurray

· Secret Keeper Girl Kit by Dannah K. Gresh

· Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty starring Ben Stiller is a beautifully shot story of one man’s transformation from stunted maturity to heroic manhood.