Thursday, November 27, 2008

Youth and Theology

"The seminar I taught was why I believe we need to teach youth about some of the tougher theological issues while they are still in high school. So when the graduate, they perhaps won't be caught off guard when they go to college and not know how to respond to varying viewpoints that they will discover and be challenged with."

I was surfing around reading blogs and the post by Dan Kimball is one worth reading and reflecting on. I really resonated with what he wrote and the thing about teaching youths tougher theological issues. This is important and vital, I believe because of the challenges that youth will face while leaving for college or university.

One of the things that has been bothering me on youths and their faith is that, almost always there would be defused interest in all things spiritual after the transition of secondary school. I am speaking generally here and I know this is not true for some youths but there is a disturbing reality to this and it has become my concern.

Scot McKnight also posted on the dwindling numbers of those in their 20's attending church services on this particular post you can find here. I think what Dan wrote and what Scot wrote has connections although it might be one of the reasons (a small piece of the pie) that those in their 20s are not attending church.

Because of this I would like to just echo Dan's thought provoking post; we should teach more on the important stuff to our youths, and there can be no apologies. It is true that at their age level, some of them, things spiritual are considered boring isuues but it should not be an excuse for us to shy away from them.

I found this response from Tony on the comment I made from Dan's blog post to be very helpful in how we are to integrate a more theological focus in what we teach our youths. I value this person's response. I hope we can chnage the way we do youth, mainly in what we teach them.


I think you have to start somewhere with your kids, and diving deep into theology all at once is not the answer. Think about it this way, you have 6 years or more with some of these kids, and the truth is you have to start slow and basic in theology and build from there. I believe we need to make sure our core group of kids "get it" first and then start to build on some of the theological issues Dan was talking about. In other words, if you just keep it loud and light 90% of the time and then try to hit them with the theology stuff 10% of the time, they will not buy it...but if you always make theology an important part of your student ministry, even if it is more involved in Small groups than your main will see how much easier it is to reach them even when your talking theology and not about the stuff they "want to hear". Besides what good is telling them what they want to hear when they leave the church and their faith as soon as things in their life don’t go the way their youth pastor told them it would! I think what Dan is saying also is we need to recognize that when they leave our youth rooms and move into college or living on their own, have we prepared them enough for the challenges and questions life will certainly bring them…maybe we as a church need to anticipate some of these challenges and questions and address them now rather than wait until they are faced with them and doubt has moved them to unbelief; or worse yet distrust because their leaders in the faith just were not honest enough with them when they were 12-18.

1 comment:

Timothy Lee said...

my church here use to have SOEM (school of envengalism & ministry) for youth leaders over the span of 1-week, conducted like lecture which topic like doctrine, church history, religions..etc' i think it;s good.

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations