I've been saying this for years, and my friend in Nashville just sent me this article. Our churches today have been plagued with over-programmatic youth groups. For the last 20 years we reduced our teen ministry to pizza parties and lock ins, and surprise….they're growing weary of programs.
I've been working with teenagers for the last 15 years, and you learn a lot when you're working with the same demographic for so long.
Sure teenagers love to have fun.
They want to have a program they can be proud of.
They want to engage with each other.
But they want more.
The times where you can develop relationships with teens that are a mile wide and an inch deep are over. It doesn't seem very efficient, and it surly flies in the face of our quantifiable system, but teens are longing for something more significant.
They want to be a part of worship.
They want to be a part of learning.
They want to be a part of giving, serving, and seeing a difference in the world.
They ask the question all the time, "So what's the difference between our church and the party down the street?"
No alcohol. No Drugs. No Sex. But there's got to be something more.
They want to know the value of a comprehensive worldview.
They want to see the difference faith can play in their daily lives.
They're tired of just showing up for game time, teen church, and a "Christianized party."
Once again, it gives us hope for what we're trying to do. As we reach out to answer the questions teenagers are asking, in the context of a fun environment; I believe the next generation is only going to be reached when we give them deep spiritual truth they can question and find applicable to our world today.
Check out this recent article in USA today, and tell me what you think.