Youth and Ministry

Another point Carol Lytch draws from Smith and Lundquist ( (“What Teens Believe,” Christian Century, Sept. 6, 2005) is one I made early this summer. In Lytch’s words, “teenagers… are not a people apart, an alien race about whom adults can only shake their heads and look forward to their growing up.”

The parents of the Baby Boomers created the myth of the generation gap, perhaps because it was easier than admitting they, too, had once faced the kinds of decisions and perplexities facing their children.

Can we all just agree we are over that now? Newsflash: today’s parents of teens were once teens ourselves. We were tempted by drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll too. Just like today’s teens, we struggled to try to fit in with our peers and at the same time find some kind of credibility with the adult world. We, too, had a naïve and idealistic view of the world that we couldn’t get the older folks to understand.

Young people today deserve to know, and know that we know, that they are not some alien race totally disconnected from all adults in society. They are a younger version of us. Let’s deal with it.

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One Response to Youth and Ministry

  1. Richard H says:

    I haven’t read the review of Soul searching, just the book itself. One of the points they make is that the origin of a separate youth culute in America dates back to the Depression era when in order to take teens out of the labor market they expanded compulsory schooling. Tis enforced isolation of youth from their parents helped them become a different culture. Of course since then, big business has recognized the billions teens have to spend have sought to maintain a constantly shifting and ever more differentiated teen market so they can get the teen’s money.

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