Thursday, September 29, 2011

And Why Do we Do it?

While looking again at the report, The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking, I was reminded of the vulnerability of the adolescent period. Note that  on page 2 of this report, the writers  put adolescence between late teens and early twenties. There are many behaviors with serious negative consequences that adolescents engage in which put them at risk. These risky behaviors are more prone to happen given certain conditions, including family, community, and other types of involvement.

Oftentimes, when adults think of the risky behaviors that adolescents can get involved in, they move to the need to involve them in meaningful activities. For many, this is a justification for youth groups at church. But is that why we are here? What about the gospel?

What do you think? Why should a church run a youth group program?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

Friday, September 23, 2011

Remembering Who We Are as Adults and Why We Matter to Youth

We often wonder why adults are sometimes reluctant to get involved in our youth ministries or with youth. I have discovered that sometimes this is because of a sense of inadequacy. Adults may feel they are not hip or cool enough. They may feel too out of touch, especially if they do not have children or grandchildren. To be honest, sometimes adults are a bit intimidated because they are not up with technology, etc. I am sure you can name some other reasons.

Here are some things for us as adults to remember and/or for you to share with  adults in your church:
  • We share a common humanity, so we all breathe the same air, feel pain, bleed, walk, talk, sleep, etc.
  • Adults have ears and can listen. Youth need people in their lives who will listen to their fears, hopes, and dreams.
  • We can empathize and celebrate. Youth are looking for people who not only listen, but care enough to empathize with their pain, insecurities and fears and also celebrate their successes and the coming to fruition of their hopes and dreams.
  • As we grow in God's love we can offer young people unconditional love , something desperately needed  in our broken world.
  • We have wisdom to share from life experiences. We may not be up with all the tech, gadgets and aps, but we have learned a thing or two along the way.
  • We have other skills, an example of which is seen in the photo above.
 What would you add to this list?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

To Connect

It's what we see before us; adolescents and younger adults who are more open to the world, having lived with greater diversity. It's large and on average well educated. Definitely, they are connected, having grown up with technology and been surrounded by it forever, pretty much. The statistics below from the Pew Internet  American Life Project tell the story. Take a look.
How will you best engage students in your ministry?
Loving God, Loving Neighbor