open letter to parents of teens

a youth ministry friend pointed out this amazing blog post, by scott linscott (didn’t his parents realize he already had a “scott” in his last name?). he writes as a parent of young adults. this is what so many of us youth workers have wanted to say to (some) parents over the years; and scott says it so well. with his permission, i’ll post it in its entirety here:

The church in America is puzzled. Young adults are leaving in droves. Magazines, books and blogs are wagging the finger of blame to point out who is responsible. Some say it is a failure of youth ministry, some point to church budgets and some nail the blame on outdated, unhip worship services. We parents are shocked that our kids just really aren’t all that into Jesus.

When I look for someone to blame I head into the restroom and look into a mirror. Yupp, there he is. I blame him. That parent looking back at me is where I have to start.

If you’re a parent, I’m might tick you off in this post. But, hear me out. I think that we, as parents are guilty of some things that make it easy for our kids to put faith low on their priority list.

Keys to Making Your Kids Apathetic About Faith

1) Put academic pursuits above faith-building activities. Encourage your child to put everything else aside for academic gain. Afterall, when they are 24 and not interested in faith and following Christ, you’ll still be thrilled that they got an A in pre-calculus, right? Instead of teaching them balance, teach them that all else comes second to academics. Quick … who graduated in the top 5 of your high school class? Unless you were one of them, I bet you have no idea. I don’t.

2) Chase the gold ball first and foremost. Afterall, your child is a star. Drive 400 miles so your child can play hockey but refuse to take them to a home group bible study because it’s 20 minutes away.

2b) Buy into the “select,” “elite,” “premier” titles for leagues that play outside of the school season and take pride in your kid wearing the label. Hey now, he’s an All-Star! No one would pay $1000 for their kid to join, “Bunch-of-kids-paying-to-play Team.” But, “Elite?!?” Boy, howdy! That’s the big time!

2c) Believe the school coach who tells you that your kid won’t play if he doesn’t play in the offseason. The truth is, if your kid really is a star, he could go to Disney for the first week of the season and come back and start for his school team. The determined coach might make him sit a whole game to teach him a lesson. But, trust me, if Julie can shoot the rock for 20 points a game, she’s in the lineup. I remember a stellar soccer athlete who played with my son in high school. Chris missed the entire preseason because of winning a national baseball championship. With no workouts, no double sessions, his first day back with the soccer team, he started and scored two goals. Several hard-working “premier” players sat on the bench and watched him do it. (Chris never played soccer outside the school season but was a perpetual district all-star selection.) The hard reality is, if your kid is not a star, an average of 3 new stars a year will play varsity as freshmen. That means there’s always 12 kids who are the top prospects. Swallow hard and encourage your kid to improve but be careful what you sacrifice to make him a star at little Podunk High here in Maine.

2d) By the way, just because your kid got a letter inviting him to attend a baseball camp in West Virginia does not mean he is being recruited. You’ll know when recruiting happens. Coaches start calling as regularly as telemarketers, they send your kid handwritten notes and they often bypass you to talk to your kid. A letter with a printed label from an athletic department is not recruitment. When a coach shows up to watch your kid play and then talks to you and your kid, that’s recruiting.

3) Teach your kid that the dollar is almighty. I see it all the time. Faith activities fly out the window when students say, “I’d like to, but I have to work.” Parents think jobs teach responsibility when, in reality, most students are merely accumulating wealth to buy the things they want. Our kids learn that faith activities should be put aside for the “responsibility” of holding a job. They will never again get to spend 100% of their paychecks on the stuff they want.

3b) Make them pay outright for faith activities like youth retreats and faith community activities while you support their sports, music, drama and endeavors with checks for camps and “select” groups and expensive equipment. This sends a loud and clear message of what you really want to see them involved in and what you value most. Complain loudly about how expensive a three-day youth event is but then don’t bat an eye when you pay four times that for a three-day sports camp.

4) Refuse to acknowledge that the primary motivating force in kids’ lives is relationship. Connections with others is what drives kids to be involved. It’s the reason that peer pressure is such a big deal in adolescence. Sending kids to bible classes and lectures is almost entirely ineffective apart from relationship and friendships that help them process what they learn. As kids share faith experiences like retreats, mission trips and student ministry fun, they build common bonds with one another that work as a glue to Christian community. In fact, a strong argument can be made that faith is designed to be lived in community with other believers. By doing all you can to keep your kids from experiencing the bonds of love in a Christian community, you help insure that they can easily walk away without feeling like they are missing anything. Kids build friendships with the kids they spend time with.

5) Model apathy in your own life. If following Jesus is only about sitting in a church service once a week and going to meetings, young adults opt out. Teenagers and young adults are looking for things that are worth their time. Authentic, genuine, relevant relationships where people are growing in relationship with Jesus is appealing. Meaningless duty and ritual holds no attraction.

There are no guarantees that your children will follow Christ even if you have a vibrant, purposeful relationship with Him. But, on the other hand, if we, as parents do not do all we can to help our children develop meaningful relationships in Jesus, we miss a major opportunity to lead them and show them the path worth walking.

I want my kids to see that their dad follows Jesus with everything. I want them to know that my greatest hope for them is that they follow Him too.

Mt. 6:33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. (The Message)

On a personal note: I know the struggle. My wife and I have lived the struggle firsthand. My son was recruited by a few D1 NCAA schools for baseball and opted instead to attend a small D3 school. My daughter was recruited to play field hockey by a couple D2 programs and ended up playing D3 when the scholarship offer was not enough to make her top school affordable. Both played in “premier” leagues. Both got A’s in high school though we often told them not to stress out too much over it. Both are in honor societies in college and my son now has offers from UNC, Univ. of Wisconsin, Johns Hopkins and Weil Cornell for a Phd in Pharmacology. Neither ever missed a youth group retreat, conference or mission trip because of their sports or academic commitments. Both missed a game or two to attend faith-based activities. Both missed school for family vacations. Both held down part-time jobs in high school and learned to give employers advance notice for upcoming retreats. My son often changed into his baseball uniform at church to arrive in the third inning of Sunday games. Robin and I did all we could to make sure they connected in student ministry even when it meant driving straight from a tournament to a music festival at midnight so that they would not miss out. It was that important to us. My youngest, a culinary student, lost a restaurant job because he went on a mission trip. That’s fine. Thankfully, all 3 have strong faith walks today. That is due only to God’s grace. But, I do believe that our efforts and example helped them long for a community-based faith.

41 thoughts on “open letter to parents of teens”

  1. As a youth pastor who sometimes wants to scream this as loud as possible, but has a 5 and 1 year old and hasn’t lived out these realities yet, how do I communicate these kinds of thoughts to parents with grace and gentleness?

  2. As a minister to very busy students, I understand how this type of lifestyle forms students into shallow, consumeristic Christians, but I think as ministers we always have to look at ourselves first. We in youth ministry have not taken thorough Bible study seriously, we have not researched child development, and we don’t want to take the time to organize our ministries. We just want to hang out with kids rather than really incarnating Jesus for them. Our spiritual formation as ministers has to come first, because students leave in college when they realize that their youth minister and ministry was really pretty shallow.

    OK, that’s just my two cents and it is probably more reactionary than anything, but I do believe the onus is on us to present Jesus in a way that makes Him more attractive. It’s too easy to blame parents because in large part we don’t have control over them.

  3. Hey! Nice to stumble on this post…

    i wanna share a quick story i’ve been wrestling through after getting a good talking to by a parent of one of my high schoolers last sunday…

    she was frustrated and angry at how her 2 teen lads have peace’d out on church and blamed me for the church being irrelevant to them…

    i was floored because within student ministries we have been blessed with significant growth and buzz… more activities than before (reball, paintball, climbing, kayaking, ice climbing on the cards, tonnes of sports, system-link parties, more relationship hang out times, teaching times that are somewhat deeper than before and a sweet solid volunteer core that really does a great job at building really great relationships with students…)

    i no that all sounds like a rant about how great the program is but i just wanted to show why i was floored…

    as we continued to talk it became more apparent that the apathy her lads had seemed to be reflective of her apathy… she would say how we failed her boys but then stated that she made them get jobs and couldn’t get them out to programs as often… how last sunday she was too tired to bring them out to the student worship night, how she was disillusioned in her own walk…
    for sure its a both/and situation… i’m sure i could have been more intentional about connecting with her lads… and i’m sure that her apathy has been contagious…

    all this to say this little blog has helped me process out some of the thoughts that have been ravaging round my head…
    i think we gotta be careful as Student Pastors to try and get rid of the guilt that sometimes jumps in when parents vent at us and for us to push through its distraction from the good work that we do

  4. I’m with you, Jesse (except mine are 8 and 4)…how do we communicate this (to parents and youth) without starting “inquisitions” what may very well cost us our jobs?

    With all due respect, Brad…in my experience, “busy” is most often an excuse used to justify (or defend) the way people set their priorities. I certainly agree that self-examination is important, but while some of us may not take Bible study seriously or be experts in child development, a growing number of youtworkers are seminary trained, degree-holding, ordained clergy who know a thing or two about both of those subjects…which hasn’t necessarily helped communicate the importance of the timeless over the temporal. (Organization, however, is a separate issue!) Besides, “hanging out with kids” is, in many ways, the very essence of “incarnating Jesus.” I was just reading one of Mike Yaconelli’s old articles about that yesterday… The problem I have is that my even most committed kids are only around 4…maybe 5…hours a week. That pales in comparison to their exposure to their parents’ example.

    My thought is that we’ve lowered the bar so far that it’s “too easy” to “be a Christian” without any suggestion of “following Jesus.” We’ve offered “cheap grace” and “come when you can” attitudes in an attempt to make Jesus “more attractive” to the point that, as Kenda Dean writes, in a teenager’s world where everything is life-or-death, Jesus isn’t worth dying for, so he’s not worth living for, either.

    So back to the original question…how do we communicate the eternal significance of these things without experiencing that “Jerry McGuire” moment when the lightning is out of the bottle and, try as we may, we can’t put it back? Scholarships may not lie in the balance, but spiritual lives do.

  5. Heard Chap Clark talk about this very thing a few weeks ago. Apathy toward church has become an epidemic over the last few years. When did church stop being so important?

  6. Todd, I think you are right about family priorities. But for me, the solution has to be personal.

    Think about it this way: what are the root causes of apathy to church in families? I’m sure there are plenty of various causes, but the one that we can control is to project a vision of Jesus that overshadows other concerns. That’s why seminary or Bible college training is helpful (essential?), but not enough in and of itself. We need to be doing theology as youth ministers and not completely leaving it up to senior pastors and professors. Otherwise, our teaching and living will always be a little off for our students. We have to be the ones making the case for church as a priority, not simply complaining about other’s priorities.

    I’ve actually had students not attend small groups because their parents “weren’t comfortable” with them being around “other” parents and students. My jaw dropped, but there wasn’t much I could do except continue to build a case for the importance of the ministry and find creative ways to meet that family where they were.

    Once again, I hear your concerns, and I think they are real, but I also think that if we become better at casting the vision of our ministries not just to students but also to parents, then we will have made some strides. When they truly believe that the programs and relationships we offer are important, then the priorities will follow. And that, IMHO, begins with our own spiritual formation as ministers (and theologians!).

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. As the President of the Society of People with Redundant Names, I Scott Linscott, have moved beyond blaming my parents for saddling me with this name and have embraced my identity. Our members, Robin Robinson, John Johnston and Pete Peters as well as thousands of others can only shrug when asked about their names.

    Actually … I’m Donald Wescott Linscott III … quite princely, I know. Scotty is the nickname that stuck to me when I was but a child. Now don’t you feel enlightened?

    Thanks for the repost, Marko. (Hey, who just yelled “Polo?”) ;-)

  8. I cannot agree more. Actually, I could add more.

    Most American evangelicals do not take their faith seriously. We play at it, we give it lip service; our worship services are lightweight pablum, our personal worship consists mostly in reading silly books and discussing our feelings, our family worship doesn’t exist because we have no idea how to lead our families.

    I put the blame foremost on Christian fathers who do not lead their families, wives and children. We do not teach them; we do not pray with them or for them; we do not encourage, challenge or hold them accountable. We abdicate our responsibilities to our wives and youth pastors.

    But I also have a beef with so many churches who do not believe children belong in worship with their parents. Worship is to be done in the covenant community, young and old, and not in segregated age groups.

    I also have a beef with so many youth pastors and leaders whose maturity is stunted, and whose priority seems to be a quest to be edgy and fun, with a little Bible thrown in to justify their employment.

    Despite his views on the Federal Vision, I heartily recommend Douglas Wilson’s books on the family as an antidote to what Marko’s posted: Reforming Marriage, Future Men, Standing on the Promises: A Handbook of Biblical Childrearing, Federal Husband, My Life for Yours: A Walk Though the Christian Home, and Her Hand in Marriage: Biblical Courtship in the Modern World.

  9. Right on! The one thing that we’ve done is insist that they attend youth group even when it was lame, nobody there my age, making 3 trips to church on Sunday at different times, had too much homework, etc., etc., etc.

    Today…my son asked me drive him to school early so he could participate in See you at the Pole. I thanked God all the way home for not waiting to bless my family three of four generations down the road (I didn’t grow up in church.)

    Being the bad parent and dealing my “guilt” of saying “No” has paid off in more ways than the world could ever know. Don’t worry I’m saving for therapy later in life to deal with my low self-esteem because my kids get angry with me!

  10. @ Brad: Thanks for clearing up your earlier post. I agree…nearly wholeheartedly. The only place I urge caution is in your last statement about the importance of us “casting the vision of our ministries.” I agree that communication is vital, but it is not *we* who transform, therefore it is not “our vision” we must communicate. Rather, we need to communicate a clear vision of God’s Kingdom and precisely how Youth Ministry under our leadership (either in general or as embodied by a specific program or event) reflects that Kingdom and invites youth (and by extension, their parents) into that Kingdom.

    Put another way, it is not *our* programs and *our* relationships that are important; believing that we (or our programs…or our individual approach) holds the (only) key to transformation is egotistical at best and heresy at worst. I hope you don’t take this personally…I am not suggesting that you maintain this position, but a lot of youthworkers do buy into the lie that they are the ones who do the transforming, that their programs are responsible for “keeping” a student in a relationship with God, that the sun literally rises and sets depending upon how “important” other people think their programs are. All I mean to say is that the power is God’s…and God’s alone. We are but mirrors (or “moons”) with no light of our own–reflecting (or “modeling”) the light of the Son to others. There is a very fine line there somewhere…and crossing it (intentionally or otherwise) leads to a “doozie” of a proverbial first step.

    Thanks for the conversation…I’m blessed by your thoughts (and everyone else’s). May God continue to bless your ministry!

  11. This comment is only for those who desperately love the Lord and want the same for their kids – run don’t walk as fast as you can away from government schools. Why? I think it’s time you do some homework here. If you love the Lord and love your children you’ll find out why.

  12. Todd,

    I 100% accept your clarification. The vision I had in mind was Jesus’ Kingdom vision, and it pains me a little that “vision” today is more church-program focused.

    I feel blessed, too, by the conversation.

    In Christ.

  13. @rick — at the risk of engaging in an argument about the relative merits or theology of public schooling, christian schooling, and home schooling (an argument i don’t desire to have here), i will comment that i’ve often seen the same, or even more extreme, values and pressures from christian school parents as i have from public school parents.

  14. Well written and an excellent reminder of what is important. What a parent values most will be seen in the lives of their children. They have a chance to influence them for eternity.

    Thank you

    Ray Libby

  15. Great article forgot one other way Christian families do this – grounding your kid from church/youth ministry – never had a non-Christian family do this, have had several Christian families do this (cause missing small groups, worship and Bible teaching is wise…we don’t even do games anymore except for Junior High boys). In fact, the last time I know this happened we were talking about the very issue/sin the kid was grounded for!

    marko – I totally agree, I’ve seen this even more with Christian school kids who’s coaches put extra pressure, who’s school takes can take the place of church/youth group, etc.

    The tragically comical thing (I mentioned this above with grounding) is that non-Christian parents often see the value and difference youth group is making in their kid and sometimes send their kid when the Christian parent doesn’t.

  16. Such good stuff! That’s all I have to say.
    Oh….amd I went to college with a girl named Kim who’s name after getting married became Kim Kim. Ouch.

  17. I find this fascinating….. when I was high school pastor we annually surveyed several hundred 9-12 graders whom were part of the youth ministry. The results were generally the same every year. The greatest influence a teenager felt in their life to keep going in their faith was the model their parents set for them. Not telling them what to do or how to follow Jesus, but their example. Did they ever see them pray or open a Bible? What was their conversations like about other people, love and grace oriented? How did their “Christian” parents deal with stress and trouble? How did they treat each other? Did they see their parents act differently in church settings them home settings? I think it was around 95% of the high schoolers every year felt this was the most important factor.

    What we noticed also, it was the parents of some of the healthiest students in faith who took the time to be involved in supporting the ministry with a majority of student leaders. Not in a weird way, or to spy on the kids. We had a few of those. But there were so many parents always coming to parent meetings we had – asking questions etc. (We would survey parents often as well). We also had mainly parents shepherding and mentoring the college age small group leaders and mentors of the high schoolers. Parents really helped on trips and events. So the higher the investment we saw of parents into the youth ministry, generally the teens themselves were ones who were normal, mission oriented, average teens following Jesus as teens. I look back and I can never over-state how important having parents who invested time, prayer, interest, committment for their teens to be at meetings etc. – really was the human backbone of the minstry.
    As a result, we had a lot of non-Christian teens then coming to meetings and putting faith in Jesus through their friends. And we had to actually write seperate parent letters to them, since they had different values and how we communicated strategy and all was different. But I am so thankful to parents for those years and could now have survived without them.

  18. Wow what wonderful problems you have. The teens and children we deal with don’t have the advantages to distract them. We do have an occaisional cheerleader or football player. We deal with teaching them to forgive their parents and make the right choices and give their children the life they never had. Since this is a public forum i will not give examples. Sorry not trying to discount what you are saying, just can’t relate.

  19. I am not a youth minister, and my kids are toddler age, so I can’t offer much other than….

    I go to a small church (150 or less attending) and we have a wonderful youth group BUT we do not have flassy programs, multiple retreats, sports programs, etc. Our youth just love God. We keep our services and “extra” stuff simple except in that we praise God and learn about God. I have to think part of it is are we teaching Jesus or are we teaching a flassy, entertaining Jesus. I want my children to love God for who He is and what He created us to be.

    I just get concerned when I see a church with too many programs and elaborate facilities to entertain the kids while they learn about Jesus. Our youth do one retreat a year, a few concerts, and fellowship time.

    We also have parents who get mad at coaches for scheduling practices on Wednesday evenings. They simply don’t allow their kids to go.

    Just my thoughts…..

  20. outstanding job scott!

    i sent this out [crediting you] yesterday to all my youth pastor friends, leaders and every parent in our church i had email addresses for.

    many came back and said “ouch”, which is what i wanted to happen. we all need to say ouch and look in the mirror to see what we are doing in terms of living out lives for Christ and the impact our life has on the children and students around us.

    way to preach it!

    pax: ty

  21. I really appreciate your reflections Heather. Our church ( has always leaned in the “simple church” model that minimizes programming in order to facilitate discipleship. We also do one retreat, and focus the rest of our efforts on helping students engage the Bible, deepen their prayer, integrate into the broader church community, and serve missionally within their spheres of influence.

    A friend of mine once summarized my caution towards “big bang” youth ministry well: “What you attract them with, you attract them to.”

  22. Heather – flassy is a great word…just needs a definition now

    and parents telling coaches no…I could almost cry

    imagine if all the parents in a city, area or the country who follow Christ started telling their soccer/whatever coaches, sorry but my kid won’t play on Sunday and then backed it up, leagues and coaches would change if 1/4 to 1/2 of their parents and kids refused to participate, they’d have to

  23. As a youth worker, I love this obviously and I am in agreement, although I would like to encourage us, as the leaders, to make sure that we are equiping our fathers to not do this, from the time we bring them into the church on up.

  24. PBJ…..Concerning the mom in our church who told the soccer coach NO about Wednesday evening practices….

    She came in church in tears…tears of anger about the situation. She simply spoke to the coach, prayed about it, and the next week the coach rearranged the schedule to accommodate church services.

    It only took one mom (of a good player) and the coach changed. It may not even take 1/2 the team….just one or two!

    I remember as a child there were no practices on Wed. or Sun. and little to no homework given on Wed. evenings. It was just understood that people were going to church :-)

  25. Thank you for your article and the honesty put forth in it. More of us parents truly need to hear this more often. I am a parent of an 18 year old son currently participating and studying in an intesive discipleship program 100 miles from where he lived with his mom. Through the nastiness of our divorce, I truly tried to keep him out of it but never took my eyes off of him or Him. I know that at some point in my life, my son has seen what the right thing to do was and is. I pray he never makes the mistakes I have, but I also know that if he does, he knows where to go……… Straight to Jesus! Practicing faith in our Lord and Savior is NEVER the wrong choice.

    Nicholas Gile-Petefish

    Romans 8:28

  26. I am a youth worker in Darien, CT, the 2nd wealthiest residential town in the nation according to It’s a town where sports are king, where kids play at least 1 sport per season, making that 3 or 4 per year. The academic standards are so high at DHS that kids often come home from their freshman year of college and say their Ivy-League education was an easier load than the course-load they had at DHS. A pastor at my church dropped his son off at kindergarten and overheard another parent say to his young child: “Remember, we want to get you into Harvard, so do well in school this year.” Church so easily becomes a check on the check-list, another item on their resume or college app, and it really is all about the parents’ prioritization and values. I too, like many of you, wish I knew how to say all of this to the parents I work with in a grace-filled way. Please pray for me and my fellow youth workers in Darien! We are fighting a hard battle, but the rewards are SO worth it!

  27. A good youth worker is worth his or her weight in gold. A bad one can turn off alot more teens than a good one can win. By good I don’t mean a great organizer,speaker etc.. Just one that is truly interested in all of their charges (even the pains)and shows them love. No youth worker can take the place of Godly parents. Parents need to be reminded of that. Remember you may never see all the results of your work so don’t get discouraged when you don’t see results. A seed planted may take years to grow.

  28. When I was in elementary school, I went to a Christian school. We never had homework on the weekends or on Wednesday Nights because of church. My parents also told me and my sister that we would not be in activities that interfered with church and they did not make us get jobs in high school. They also would not use church or missing church as a punishment. We were always heavily involved in our church and went to 3 services a week. Luckily, must all of my friends’ parents felt the same way so we always had our good church friends around. I did not ever feel as though I was missing out on anything at school because I had such a great time growing closer to God at church. Our youth group was nothing extraordinary, but we had a youth pastor who challenged us with the word of God and I had great Christian friends that helped me grow stronger in my relationship with God. I am now the worship leader at my church and I help in the nursery. I never miss church unless I am too sick to go.

    My parents were excellent Christian examples growing up and they led by example. They let us go to all the youth group activities we wanted to and they never complained about driving us to youth group activities or picking us up. I just wish that all parents put as much emphasis on church and God as my parents did when I was growing up.

  29. Give people substance and you won’t have to guilt them into making time for Church. Start feeding the poor instead of sitting around in small groups trying to convince people that God is the answer. I don’t put priority in the church with my kids because the church does a good enough job of making themselves number one in peoples lives. How about posting on love and forgiveness and community. Seriously this is a guilt trip that makes me just laugh

  30. Brian Cole makes a good point. Authentic value doesn’t need to be sold. It sells itself.

    We once sent our son on a youth group retreat. Three of the other kids — children of the leadership — urinated on his sleeping bag. Their message of rejection to him was loud and clear, and he got it.

    How did the leaders handle it? They didn’t. They didn’t send the kids home or reprimanded them in any other meaningful way. By what logic would it have made sense for us to persuade our son to value attendance at that church?

    To his credit, our son forgave them — both the kids and the leaders — even more quickly and more thoroughly than I ever have. But that incident made it obvious to my wife and I that being faithful to God doesn’t mean giving a blank check to church attendance, especially blind attendance at all costs. God’s work in this world is much more complex than just how many hours you spend at church-sponsored activities. If we can’t see that, we’ve got the wrong idea of what creates true disciples.

  31. Brian! Daryl!
    Fellas, please don’t miss the point of the article. It’s not about how good Christ followers are never supposed to miss church events. It’s about how parents can teach their teenagers what good priorities look like: Jesus>Everything Else.

    There’s a 6th grade girl in our church who’s missing the one church retreat that they take in a year for a game in her volleyball season. I’m not upset about her missing as much as I’m bothered that her parents are teaching her (at such a young age) that volleyball is always more important than Jesus.

    Not legalistic church attendance. But, teaching your kids what it means to follow Jesus.

  32. Levi,

    It’s not our job to judge parents. It’s our job to give them no excuse. There’s a big difference.


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