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WHI-1204 | Youth Ministry in Crisis

Posted by on in 2014 Show Archive
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According to the most conservative estimates, over 60 percent of those raised in evangelical homes end up leaving church at age 18. In some cases the estimates range as high as 90 percent. So what are we doing wrong? Why are we failing to pass the faith on the next generation, and what should churches and parents do to address this crisis? To help answer these questions, I'll talk with J.I. Packer, Christian Smith, Thomas Bergler, Kenda Creasy Dean, and others as we introduce our new series on Youth Ministry.According to the most conservative estimates, over 60 percent of those raised in evangelical homes end up leaving church at age 18. In some cases the estimates range as high as 90 percent. So what are we doing wrong? Why are we failing to pass the faith on the next generation, and what should churches and parents do to address this crisis? To help answer these questions, I'll talk with J.I. Packer, Christian Smith, Thomas Bergler, Kenda Creasy Dean, and others as we introduce our new series on Youth Ministry.


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PROGRAM AUDIO

[audio src="http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2014whi1204may04.mp3" width="250"]
Click here to access the audio file directly



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  • Guest - armk

    "I’m suggesting that “being as a child” isn’t asking us to eschew reason. It’s adding a qualifier to the nature of our reason, but it’s not dismissing reason as “sinful rebellion”. If reason was the same thing as sinful rebellion, you would not be engaging on this blog in this or any other conversation... As to my comment about Calvinism — you might note that I already allowed as how the charge was a false one. The point I was suggesting was that we not make it a true one by such conclusions as armk was drawing: that we not try to present the gospel in such a reasonable manner, such that it might appeal to a mature, adult mind."

    Please quote from this thread where exactly I ever concluded "not to try to present the gospel in such a reasonable manner, such that it might appeal to a mature, adult mind" or similar language. Where exactly do you find me "asking us to eschew reason"? Where exactly did I dismiss reason and equate it with sinful rebellion? The fault cannot lie (mostly) with my imperfect communication skills, because Bill Burns fully understood the meaning of my words.

    "1. There is (in my church experience) an implication that if we don’t convert them when they are young, we will never convert them."

    What Christian branch/denomination were you a part of which gave up completely on evangelism to adults ("never")? You either exaggerate too much (the "implication" you mention might be more of a cynical hyperbole lacking generosity towards those you are describing), or you were raised in a rare, unusual sect which renders the sharing of your experience as mostly irrelevant to this particular discussion (due to the rarity of your background).

    "That’s not consistent with the Bible account wherein conversion is exclusively described as something occurring to adults. If you can think of an exception to that, I’d welcome reading it."

    I understood the gospel and converted when very young, not older than seven or eight. So did hundreds of friends and acquaintances. So did COUNTLESS MILLIONS of Christians across the globe throughout the centuries. The gospel message of salvation is simple enough that young children can understand, assent, and place their trust on their Redeemer. Simplicity and rationality are not mutually exclusive categories. Some people willfully resist the gospel not because of its supposed high level of rational complexity (to children) and not because its communication (to adults) lacks high levels of rationality, but because of their sinful rebellion and prideful suppression of the truth. The fault lies not on the message and (usually) not on its communication, but within the hearts of the audience (young and old). The cure is not more chronological accretion and rational sophistication but God-gifted humble repentance (2 Timothy 2:25).

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    Of course it was hyperbole. And I would have to observe that we have gotten off on an irreparably wrong foot to be stretching to such lengths to find fault in every comment I make.

    You win. (though I didn't know this was a competition.)

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  • Guest - armk

    "Of course it was hyperbole. And I would have to observe that we have gotten off on an irreparably wrong foot to be stretching to such lengths to find fault in every comment I make."

    When you constantly use hyperbole for rhetorical flourishes, the only options are that readers will take the plain meaning of your words seriously and respond in kind, or take you to be a trolling controversialist and ignore. This is the wrong venue for satire.

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    I didn't realize you were this blog's moderator. I stand corrected.

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  • Guest - armk

    moderating ≠ disagreeing

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  • Guest - John Bauman

    No, but telling me how I should post -- No hyperbole, no satire, no rhetorical flourishes -- indicates that your intent to moderate.

    If you think I'm trolling, feel free to ignore me. It would be far better than characterizing my comments for me (and others).

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  • Guest - Steve Puleo

    Would it be possible to get links to the polls / studies cited at the top of the program? Thanks!

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  • [&] I heard the recent White Horse Inn episode, Youth Ministry in Crisis, I realized I had stumbled on something that encapsulated my Masters work in seminary (as well as [&]

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  • [&] I heard the recent White Horse Inn episode, Youth Ministry in Crisis, I realized I had stumbled on something that encapsulated my Masters work in seminary (as well as [&]

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  • [&] Exist. I was so blessed to meet the leaders and students of Grace Brethren Church. In a day where many (understandably) say that youth ministry is in crisis, youth groups like Grace are a kiss on the lips. What about Grace made it so refreshing? First, the [&]

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