17 June 2008

Age Serves Youth.

Amy Welborn on the fallacy at the heart of so much youth ministry:

Those of us who work with teens, teach teens or have teens living in our houses think a lot about…teens.

We can’t stop pondering youth ministry and ministry to youth and what to do with the kids and how to keep the kids engaged and excited and connected.

We’re extremely susceptible to Evangelical Envy.

For so long - longer than we might think- we’ve assumed that the most important thing we can give teens is nothing more or less than even more teens.

We want them to be hanging around other teens who share their values. Hoping secretly, perhaps, that the teens involved will have a bit more faith than our teens and so will push our teens to go further and take it all more seriously.

We want them to be immersed in a peer group in which faith is cool and not something to laugh at or scoff at or argue with, incessantly and cynically.

It’s older than CYO, it’s older than Don Bosco. Well, maybe older than Don Bosco.

It just makes sense.

Doesn’t it?

“What I’m looking for,” we might say, “is a good, lively Mass full of teens, for my teen. “

I was sitting at Mass yesterday, thinking about this, when I started wondering, “Do I? Really?”

Instead, I suddenly decided, I want my teen to go to a Mass filled with old people.

I want her to be surrounded by that wisdom and suffering endured and hope maintained...

Here's the whole thing.


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