Thursday, May 15, 2014

Youth: Dropout myth, need theologians

If you've worked in the youth ministry world in the last decade, you're aware of these stats always being thrown out with the conclusion that we should stop doing youth ministry and do... whatever the writer's new solution / ministry happens to be.  It's nice to see someone do actual research with critical analysis!  Thanks to Ed Stetzer for doing this.

Dropout is a key word in today's evangelical churches concerning teenagers and young adults. The quote often sounds like this: "86% of evangelical youth drop out of church after graduation, never to return." The problem with that statement (and others around that number) is that it's not true...

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What many of us have been saying is that the problem is not with "youth ministry" per se, but how many churches are doing it. One of the many problematic practices is putting people in places of leadership because "they're good with kids" or some other similar reason - and yet they have zero theological or practical training.  Another timely post today:

...If anything the world bears down with even greater ferocity on the fledging faith of Christian youth. So why should we expect less theological rigor from our youth pastors who serve them through teaching, counseling, and more? Every youth minister needs to be a theologian, whether formally or informally equipped to handle God's Word with integrity and care.

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