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It was fall. I was a teenager. And the annual back-to-school ritual had begun. Mom hustled me off to the mall and dogged me from clothes rack to clothes rack as I painstakingly selected three shirts.

"What's wrong with this?" she demanded, holding a bright red-checked shirt to my chest. I hated checks.

"I don't like it," I moaned, my fragile teenage ego already dented by Mom's mere presence.

"You need enough shirts to get through the week," she declared with finality. "Now, this is a perfectly good shirt."

Needless to say, I went home with five shirts that afternoon and dutifully put them in my closet. The three shirts I picked, I wore. The others I didn't-not simply because I childishly balked at parental authority, but because I was also emerging into an adult, and I needed to make some decisions for myself.

Many times church leaders are frustrated with a congregation's lack of enthusiasm for a perfectly good church program. Perhaps it's because they have, not a rebellious child, but an emerging ...

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