Knowing that freshmen face a pivotal stage in life, it is crucial for one to consider their viewpoints at such an influential age. Regarding the Christian youth, we’d ideally be seeking the Lord. However, that can imminently seem unrealistic with the adolescent cares of this world; school, sports, friendships, relationships, family circumstances, etc. We genuinely do live in a broken world, populated with an overwhelming range of distraction. It’s our inherent nature. Fortunately, God has blessed us with wise adult figures to council us, to educate us, and to reciprocate the love of Christ to us. Upon pondering this, I asked freshman theology teacher Scott Nagy for his opinion on the vitality of today’s Christian adolescents’ relationships with God.

Me: “For starters, why do you think God positioned you to be a freshman Theology teacher?”

Mr. Nagy: “I feel like God has gifted me to be around freshman. That means that I enjoy it and I’m just blessed that God has called me to be here to serve that group of people, and I enjoy being around them, and teaching, and hanging out with them.”

Me: “As an educator and a role model, what knowledge do you want these students to ultimately walk away with?”

Mr. Nagy: “I would like the freshman to walk away knowing that Jesus loves them, that’s the first–the Gospel message–and then knowing that it’s okay to live out your faith to be an example for others who may struggle or others who need help, and that they offer that, and that God has gifted them to do that, and they have gifts, they are valuable, and they are loved children of God.”

Me: “What do you do to ensure that they are in a safe environment to ask questions and are welcomed as students of Olu and the LORD?”

Mr. Nagy: “So, in our classrooms, we make sure it is a safe environment by not allowing hurtful talk, being respectful of one another’s space, being respectful of each other as they speak and share things, that they are kind and treat each other with respect, with respect for yourself and respect for others. That’s how Jesus did it, and so I think that’s good enough for us.”

Me: “What is the biggest crisis of faith with today’s adolescents?” 

Mr. Nagy: “The biggest crisis of faith is that they don’t have so many people, as many people today, that they used to, like grandparents or even parents, or families that aren’t involved in churches or anything that would help them strengthen their faith. So, that’s a struggle, because it’s against the world and so that makes it more difficult.”

Me: “What stimulates that? Why do you think these adults, these parents, grandparents, are kind of straying from their faith? What do you think?”

Mr. Nagy: “I think parents aren’t as involved because their parents were less involved, so now they’re even less involved, and the overcommitment of people today, we’re so busy. We can’t fit God in, which really, God should be first, and that’s a struggle. It’s hard to do, but that’s what he calls us to do.”

Me: “How can this be prevented?”

Mr. Nagy: “So, I feel we can help with that, here at our school, because we might challenge kids, and they hear the Gospel message, and they take that home and maybe talk to their parents about that. That’s an opportunity to open a door, maybe to go visit a church, to go to some youth group activity where they hear about the Gospel and they get excited. That helps their parents get excited, then they want to go to that church, or they want to go visit somewhere to help them, and that helps the whole family.”

Me: “Your advice to all freshmen when cultivating their relationships with Christ.”

Mr. Nagy: “I would say to make sure you set aside time to do that. That they read the Bible, or they pray, or they visit a church, or they spend time reading the Bible, and thinking about what it means. Just a little bit of time each day. The more you do that, the easier it gets to do that and have that be a part of who you are and what you do each day, your pattern, your daily activities that you do.”

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Written by

Paige Heaney

Paige Heaney, sophomore, has loved creative writing since she was very young. Her works primarily take form in poems or fiction. A blank piece of paper is like an untouched canvas to her, where she depicts vivid images with words instead of drawings. She also enjoys reading, especially S.E. Hinton’s books such as The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. Aside from reading and writing, Paige loves making memories with her friends and family.