This morning I picked up a book to read entitled, Generation Rising: A Future With Hope for the United Methodist Church, edited by Andrew C. Thompson. It promises much and I am sure I will not be disappointed. In skimming through, I went to the chapter, "Youth Ministry: Reclaiming the Art of Confirmation." What struck me as I looked at the early part of the chapter was the discussion on the downside of treating youth ministry as if it were peripheral to the congregation, assuming that youth neither need nor want depth, resulting in a superficial approach to youth ministry that is disconnected from the main life of the church.
Some of us have probably encountered this concern before. As I read this section, I reflected that this is an old conversation and yet many have continued uncritically down this road of separateness. Even when faced with statistics and convincing arguments in favor of a deeper, more engaged youth ministry that is rooted in and connected with the congregation it seems that many adults working with youth find it easier to skim the surface and engage almost exclusively in the lighthearted moments. Whether this is about the adult or youth belongs to a different conversation. Nevertheless, my big question is, when will we get it? When will we allow ourselves and our youth to grow up into Christ who is the head of all things?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor