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Students get used to being “won” and begin to expect adults to cater to their desires and preferences.
Your palms are sweaty, and you're trying damn hard to come up with something funny to say, only to lapse into long silences in your conversation.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.
Brett Kunkle lists 7 such more such research reports in 2009: Book: Kinnaman, David. 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 this model, older adults no longer have a role in the formation of the young, parents, who have outsourced their children’s spiritual formation, often oppose a rigorous transformational faith, and the young have no interest in taking their place in the concerns and councils of the church…so students graduate from the youth group into the next thing that will cater to their preferenceslike the local Starbucks.An Assembly Line To Build the Self-absorbed In fairness, this didn’t start in the youth room.Although problematic, fear, negativity, and rigor simply do not tell the whole story at thousands of churches.