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Because youth pastors are generally people of spiritual passion and commitment, many students graduate from high school having had a real experience of spiritual transformation but without having ever seen the inside of the sanctuary or meeting the senior pastor.
Being here in Bethesda, it seems like that is the only social scene, so I figure its time to check out more of DC in general.It Seemed Like Such A Good Idea At The Time In the 80’s and 90’s, while mainline churches disinvested in young people, evangelicals began imitating successful parachurch ministries to “attract” students with games and activities. As we moved into the 2000’s, bands, fog machines and light shows became the youth room rage.But what the parachurch did in neighborhood living rooms with careful evangelistic purpose was a bit less purposeful (even if “Purpose Driven”) in most church youth rooms. Tim Elmore dubbed today’s young adults, “the overindulged generation.” The church gladly played along, “wowing” them students with noise, technology and millions of pizzas.Reclaim rigorous discipleship, multi-generational relationships, and youth serving as full members of the church.Challenge and equip parents to spiritually lead in their homes.In the new model, students develop the crucial affiliation bond not with the church or its leadership, but to the youth pastor and youth program.
Because youth pastors have high turnover, new youth pastors have to continually “win” over the last youth pastor’s group.Students were segregated away from the grownups on Sunday morning in a new idea: the “youth service.” The model of removing youth from the sanctuary, was dubbed early on “The One-eared Mickey Mouse.” The youth service essentially turned the “student ministry” into a parachurch ministry on the church property – perhaps Christ-centered in its message and developmentally appropriate, but segregating youth from the larger faith community in order to do programs “attractive” to students.Segregation: The Drug Of Choice The entire church embraced this paradigm shift.It was the drug everyone wanted: Parents wanted their kids to like church.Pastors wanted undistracted parents listening to their sermons. On top of that, donors were excited to write large checks to build expensive facilities with the promise of reaching lost and hurting kids.Retrieved from: Post/2013/03/25/Editorial-Opinion/Graphics/Aggregated data from surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, January-July 2012. Innovative Ministry Response: Phoenix One, an ecumenical young adult ministry that is very friendly to liturgy and mystery is an example of the best of these attempts.