Youth Ministry’s Family Blind Spot
since the church structure did not organically integrate our lives with people outside our age group, we sort of fell through the cracks. No one brought us a meal when our son was born, and we almost felt like we had to fend for ourselves as we figured out marriage and parenting.
I’ve heard the observation that “Youth Ministry” which separates the young people from the rest of the congregation is one of the biggest reasons we lose young people as they mature into adulthood.
Because once they’re “not youth” any more – they have no connections with the rest of the congregation. Combine that with them leaving the nest for higher education and other “adult” endeavors, and one can see why they tend to drift away to do their own thing.
The attached article relates an even deeper problem – where new young families are left to their own devices to “figure things out” without the support and fellowship of the more experienced members of the congregation.
My thoughts on reading this is that the church needs to develop an integrated, life-time plan for creating communities of mixed age groups, where people can find the kind of continuity of community that one would expect a Christian church to have. Each age group has their own unique qualities in the Body of Christ to contribute to all ages of the community, not just their own age group.
In this manner, as people age, they’re transitioning from where they are to something more familiar because they have relationships with people who’ve “Been there and done that”, and they’ll have seen what it’s like through the eyes of their older friends. At the same time, they can contribute their experiences to the younger members of the congregation who are coming after them.
This is so simple, one wonders why nobody’d thought of it before?