Wednesday, July 16, 2008

20 Something Faith Abandonment

The opening two paragraphs of a master's project at IWU:
"Katie* was a dedicated teenager in the youth ministry at Anonymous Wesleyan Church* for four years. She was the type of girl who every leader would want in his ministry. Katie was passionate about Christ and didn’t hesitate to share her passion with others. She was a leader both in actions and in words. To top it off, Katie was a beautiful young lady who her peers enjoyed being around. After years of going on mission trips with the youth group and serving on the leadership team the time came for Katie to graduate and head off to college. Within the first year of her collegian journey, word came back to the church that Katie was no longer attending church, no longer living her life above reproach and no longer desiring to make good decisions. Katie had walked away from the Lord and her faith because it wasn’t convenient in this season of her life.

"Katie is not the exception of those who have participated in the youth ministry of Anonymous Wesleyan Church. Unfortunately situations such as Katie’s are more of the norm. As the youth pastor of Anonymous for the past thirteen years, the greatest hurt and frustration I have had to deal with is watching teens that I personally have invested in graduate from high school and walk away from their faith. I’m afraid that loving a teen just isn’t enough to create a committed disciple of Christ. The means by which the gospel is communicated and the expectations placed on our teens are ineffective and need to be overhauled."


Bitty said...

I think that the Wesleyan church would do well to mirror the efforts that mainline denominations utilize for ministry to college students: for instance, the United Methodist church has "Wesley Foundations" as numerous state universities which function as a spiritual "home away from home."
I also think that frequently, high school students' spirituality is defined by group activities versus individual spiritual growth. Perhaps having strong mentors for individual high school students would help form their identities more solidly once they leave the comfort zone of their own youth groups.

::athada:: said...

The bigger they are...