Doing Well with Youth by S. M. Hutchens


Doing Well with Youth

Some of the greatest nonsense in the churches is to be found in "youth ministry" and related notions that rest on the implied premise that the young not only are immature but lack intelligence and a basic humanity which is a product of adult formation. The churches that do best with young people, retaining them into adulthood, don't make those mistakes. They treat young people with unapologetic authority as apprentice adults, not retarded ones, or as strange and dangerous semi-humans, which I fear is all too often the case because they frequently look that way. I would urge the senior pastor to take direct personal responsibility for the care of young souls, speaking to them often and answering their questions (they can come to love such a man, and he to love them), and that deep knowledge of Scripture become the chief catechetical goal—and not just for Protestants. Holy Scripture is nowhere to be treated as a footnote to the catechism—that reverses the proper order.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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