"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

12.30.2005

corner of 6th & where do I get

This is such an interesting article on teenagers who go to one church with their family and another church for their youth group. I don't know what to make of the phenomenon. It's something I would never have been able to get away with, but I knew lots of kids who came to our youth group from other churches precisely because we had cool youth ministers (all six of them in six years) and programming. There's also the issue of kids who are at small churches that don't have youth groups or a minister specifically working with teenagers. It's so important for teenagers to have a positive community of friends and supportive adults-who-aren't-their-parents in the years when they're making big decisions about who they are and what they want to become. Kids who don't fit in in their youth groups don't thrive, so it seems like it's better for them to find somewhere to go.

And yet. It just seems strange for kids to be going to two church services every week. If this is really a growing trend, it's clearly the result of churches marketing a product to churchgoing families -- including teenagers. Preachers who denounce church-hopping as resulting from a consumer mentality should remember that the next time they're printing flashy brochures for their seeker-friendly services.

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