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May 28, 2006

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Chris-

Wow. Good stuff. Heather and I led a youth group in Fontana and 90% of our kids were not part of the church body. I felt a need to connect them to the church body but they had no interest. Yet at the same time, we were the only "church" that those kids had. Their parents weren't church attenders and used youth group as a daycare service. But we had a wonderful opportunity to see these kids grow and learn about Christ. We even had the opportunity to talk to the parents as the dropped their kids off and to pick them up.

What do you do when the church doesn't relate to the youth?

I think that another factor to why kids don't get connected after HS is because very few churches have "transitional" ministries that minister to college students. Their basically kicked out and are to young to participate in the leadership of the church so they go from fitting in to being an outcast. One thing that would help would be to have a ministry for young adults that serves as a transitioning time and this phase would help to integrate them more into the adult ministries in the church. I pastor young adults and we are having more young couples and students stick around because they can get involved. Now they are becoming leaders in the congregation!

I think we have neglected young adult ministries to much and have overemphasized youth ministry. Church should be a place where people of all ages can come and be involved and not fall into the cracks where there is no ministry for their age group.

I've been pondering this book for a couple of weeks, but did not decide to purchase it until reading your review. I work with college students and have purposely avoided the traditional style of ministry. Problem is my style has been in flux for a bit too long. Sounds like Yaconelli has put into writing what has been flying around in my head. I'll be sure a put up a response when I'm done reading it. Thanks again.

I got tears in my eyes reading through the anxiety/love list. I wish my whole church could read this and get a handle on it, not just those folks working with the youth.

Dana

Brian -- enjoyed reading your comments.

"What do you do when the church doesn't relate to the youth?"

That's a very tough question. I suppose the answer varies depending on the circumstances and those involved. On one hand, if a church doesn't relate to youth -- the pastoral leadership need to get busy at changing that! On the other hand, if a church doesn't relate to youth, maybe in truth it never will -- and in that case, you've either got to find a different church or plant one!

"Their basically kicked out and are to young to participate in the leadership of the church so they go from fitting in to being an outcast."

Yep. This has been a huge prob for a long time. "Transitional" approach may be okay, but I prefer to integrate high schoolers into the life and ministries of the church long before they get close to graduating. Then, once they do, not much changes: they are still important, needed, and in relationship with other adults.

We're already making some headway with this in our congregation. It's exciting!

Laura -- please DO post your insights and reactions to Mark's book when you finish; that would be terrific. Blessings!

Dana -- maybe pass a copy or two along to the pastoral team? I'll be praying.

Chris,

this guy any relation to Mike Yaconelli?

Mark is Mike Yaconelli's son.

Thanks Chris. If his writing is even 1/2 as good as his dad, this book will be worth reading.

* We don't know how to be with our kids.
* We don't know how to be with ourselves.
* We don't know how to be with God."

I'd say he's on to something here. The Jade is 10 years old. And often the wife and I are in different rooms looking at different 'boxes'. (TV/Computer = Box) We have to 'work' at doing something as a family.

I don't know the last time I did anything by myself. I feel like I need a retreat.

And how much time do I spend 'for God' or even 'with God?'

maybe I won't read this book.. lol

LYB

Seraphim

"We're seeking to see teens with the eyes of Jesus, hear teens with the hears of Jesus, and perceive teens with the heart of Jesus"
That is RIGHT on the money! I think that accepting students right where there at is awesome! Once again, great post Dad! personally, I think its even more touching when we, the students, see our leaders and people we look up to actually "walk the talk". Good stuff!!

Thanks, Julie!

NOTE TO READERS OF PARADOXOLOGY:
Julie is my almost-15 yr. old daughter, of whom I am exceedingly proud. She's also a core leader in our youth group and my favorite horn player. ;)

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