Many mistake youthwork for glorified childcare! They complain kids are not ready for adult stuff, attention span is low, cannot commit to real life things etc. They keep it ‘light’, fun, among friends, with high entertainment value (music, games etc) and keep them off trouble.
Today kids experience lot more of life earlier than their parents and surely exposed to many adult stuff at younger ages. They begin to trespass into territories that were restricted to adults world before. Independence, sexual experimentation, relationship, susbtance abuse, x-rated images/ lyrics etc are targetted at younger kids than ever in the past. They believe in catching them young!
But some are changing this perspective. Youth Ministry is getting into some serious stuff. How we mistake them to be mere kids or at least treat them as one. They are expecting more than what is out there in popular culture and the world. The recent coverage on youth work in Time and Leadership Journal are reporting that youth worker across US are getting into serious stuff. They are discussing doctrines, adult mentoring and missions. They are calling young people to serious discipleship, christ-like lifestyle and even to lay down their life for the one who lay down his life for them.
It is high time Indian community get into serious youth work. Indian churches must take youth work seriously and do it more seriously than what goes on there now. It is time to raise the bar and go beyond religious socialization or cultural orientation.
According to Barna (thot might be of interest to you):
• Number of teens in U.S.: 24 million
• Percentage who have attended church for a period of at least two months: 81
• Percentage who have participated in at least one psychic/witchcraft activity: 75
• Percentage of young adults who maintain active spiritual life consistent with high school years: 20