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Don’t Segregate the Youth

Here is a continued appeal not to segregate the youth on Sunday morning. In it the author describes a couple from his church out to eat who thoroughly ignored their child.

And then he describes how the young people were deliberately included in the church service including service and relationships.

Simply put, we do teens a disservice when we segregate them from the life of the church. When we build youth ministries that don’t fold students into the life of the congregation, the unintended consequence is a future of empty pews. Pew Research reports that 20- to 30-year-olds attend church at half the rate of their parents and one-fourth the rate of their grandparents. These young adults were teens a decade or two ago, and many of them were active in youth ministries. As result, many today ask what we can do to reverse this regrettable trend, wondering how to get formerly churchgoing youth “back” into church. In my view, we must engage students in the life of entire congregations. Then and only then can we model and shape a biblical view of the church as we entrust the faith from one generation to the next.

In other words, maybe young adults aren’t actually leaving the church. Maybe they were never there to begin with.

Read the whole thing.

My only addition: It is not enough just to have them there. Parents must be intentional in reveling in the many generations. Intergenerational worship may not be fun, but it can be good. And good beats fun any day. I have written more about this here and a whole booklet available for free download here.

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