Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Interesting article

Here's a link to an interesting article that I stumbled onto today from Josh Griffin's blog (thanks Josh) about teenagers and the reasons behind their church attendance.

Part of what interested me was the personal connection that many of them seem to feel in why they continue coming to church. The top reason, if I'm reading the survey correctly, is because they feel a strong connection to their youth leader.

The question there for me seems to be, "Why don't they feel a strong connection to Christ?" And "How do we empress on them the necessity to come to church because they feel a strong connection to Christ and want to worship God, not because their youth pastor is fun or caring?"

Another question that interested me was that students' relationships with their youth leaders impacted their choices in drugs and alcohol, but not in sexuality choices.

If you have interactions on this article, feel free to post them.



  1. I think it's an indictment both of the hyperscheduling of suburban teen life and of the abdication of moral formation on the parts of college teachers.

    That teens seek adults who listen is no surprise; it's just sad that youth ministers are some of the only ones who slow down long enough to do so.

    I also grit my teeth as I remember overhearing more than one professor in the English department at UGA talking about how students' psychological states (much less moral lives) are any of their business.

  2. Yeah, it think that it would be a good article to get into the hands of some parents to see what they think. Personally, I think the spiritual leader ought to be the family parental units (Deut 6), but most parents are just outsourcing that to youth ministers (see previous post on Ministry Mutany).

    But I'm curious about in what context the UGA profs were talking about students' psychological states?

  3. In both cases professors were telling stories about students who had emotional breakdowns in their offices. In one case it had to do with a death in the student's family, and in the other it was a crisis of identity--the kid didn't know how to tell the parents that law school wasn't in the future. And in both cases, the professor's vibe was something like, "Doesn't this kid know that taking care of people isn't my job?"

    In one case, because I don't like the professor anyway, I was quite tempted to walk into his office and denounce him loud enough that half the campus would hear it. For better or for worse, I resisted that temptation.

    Every day (perhaps every hour) I spend at UGA reminds me how lucky we were (or providentially blessed, if you prefer more of an Augustinian vibe) to land at Milligan.

  4. Nater,
    That is something that I could totally see you doing. And you're right, we were definately lucky, looked out, predestined, etc... ;) to end up at Milligan. We had some profs and teachers who really cared about us and weren't afraid to show it.

    Do you see your role at UGA as that? Do you have that sort of interaction with students there?

  5. To the extent that I can, I do.

    Unfortunately, at a university of that size, I'm lucky to run into former students at all. It's not like Milligan, where everyone takes classes from the same forty or so people. UGA's English department has more teaching personnel than does all of Milligan College. For that matter, there are more people teaching ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102 (the two semesters of freshman English) than there are teaching everything at Milligan. The sheer size of the place makes logistically impossible the kind of community we took as given at Milligan.

    I do what I can down in the Park Hall dungeon, but there comes a time for knocking the dust off of one's shoes, and my time is coming fast.