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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Sugarcoated, MTV-style youth ministry is so over"

... according to TIME magazine. This goes with my earlier post about parents' desinterest in their childrens' faith. Could it be that they were the ones attending this type of youth ministry a while ago? Ok, so we need a different style of youth group? How about catechism instruction around the dinner table in a family "small group" setting? What a novel idea ;)

"Youth ministers have been on a long and frustrating quest of their own over the past two decades or so. Believing that a message wrapped in pop-culture packaging was the way to attract teens to their flocks, pastors watered down the religious content and boosted the entertainment. But in recent years churches have begun offering their young people a style of religious instruction grounded in Bible study and teachings about the doctrines of their denomination. Their conversion has been sparked by the recognition that sugarcoated Christianity, popular in the 1980s and early '90s, has caused growing numbers of kids to turn away not just from attending youth-fellowship activities but also from practicing their faith at all. ... Scholars who have looked at young Christians say their spiritual drift is in part the result of a lack of knowledge about their faith. "The vast majority of teens who call themselves Christians haven't been well educated in religious doctrine and therefore don't really know what they believe," says Christian Smith, a University of Notre Dame sociologist and the author of Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. "With all the competing demands on their time, religion becomes a low priority, and so they practice their faith in shallow ways."
TIME Magazine -- In Touch With Jesus

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