Why it takes more than a “Youth Sunday” to show kids they matter

10 thoughts on “Why it takes more than a “Youth Sunday” to show kids they matter”

  1. I absolutely agree with this! I would add the caveat that Millennial women had a double problem though. Not only were we irrelevant “participants” as youth, but adulthood brought no real changes. In fact, in my childhood denomination (a very conservative branch of Presbyterian called the PCA) the experience of women gets worse as you age. As a little girl I could be Mary in the Christmas program; as a teenager I could teach little boys the Gospel during VBS; as a grown woman I could look forward to a strictly limited role involving music, cooking, and babies. Young men in conservative churches can look forward to being real leaders, but women are explicitly told to shut up and learn your place. And many of them said fine, if you don’t need me then why bother coming?

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    1. Caroline, thank you for sharing. I wish more people would stop to listen to stories like yours, so they can understand how the church treating women as second-class citizens affects them. We’re long overdue to see leadership shared equally with women in the church.

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    2. That’s why I became a Methodist. I wanted my daughters to grow up in a church/tradition where their voice was valued and they had the possibility of leadership if they wanted it.

      That’s not to say the Methodist movement is free of patriarchy. It’s not. But it’s making a good effort, and historically has.

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  2. This is a really good post about a very important question in church life. I write as a vicar in the Church of England and wrestle constantly with the right/best way to do Sunday worship. My natural inclination is to have all ages together, but not the overtly child-friendly fun fest all-age services can become. But I also get frustrated at the tut-tutting when the under twos squawk and toddle about a bit, as is only natural. I agree that always sending children to their own Sunday morning programme leaves them unprepared for ‘normal’ church later on and so they will be more likely to leave at that stage.

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    1. Thanks Jen! I really like your approach to Youth Sundays…especially how you framed it within the context of regular youth involvement in worship, as opposed to a one-off. I definitely agree that Youth Sunday as you approach it can be formational. I’ve been fortunate to see a good example of this in my own church, where our youth leader very wisely used the day to encourage the whole congregation to think more holistically about the part our young people play in our faith community. Thanks again for sharing…loved your post!

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