Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pentecost 16 - Luke 15



Anonymous said...

“Moralistic Therapeutic Deism" made the agenda for the upcoming get together:

Youth Ministry 2011
What's A Soul Worth?
The souls of teens and young adults in a transition with eternal ramifications.
January 4-6, 2011

The Buena Vista Palace Hotel at
Disneyworld Orlando, FL

A few questions.

Who decides who plans, designs, etc. these youth gatherings? I mean who choses the directors and planners? Do they apply? If so, who can apply?


RevFisk said...


And, I have no idea. least their listening to Christian Smith. :) Glad to hear that.

Anonymous said...

My point is that these events are huge. They aren't just thrown together. There are leaders, planning teams yady yada. What is there to stop you or many other like minded pastors from sending in applications to lead, plan and direct? If they just get one or two pastors submitting applications, they may say they are full or some other such, but if 20 or 30 send in applications, it would be pretty hard to say that none, not one will be allowed a seat at the table.

When is the next one? The last one just ended. It can't be too late already.

Anyway, this all came to my attention after I wondered what folks thought of my District President Rev. Kenneth Hennings. So, I googled him and "steadfast" which rendered this stunning thread regarding the 2008 Glory Bound district youth event :

I remember the kids from our church attended. I didn't hear anything about it but my kids were too young to go.

Anyway, the notion that youth workers are somehow more qualified to plan and direct these events than pastors doesn't hold water. Rather these youth workers as planners appear to need some supervision.

This all makes me think of the phrase "grandfathers' church". Really this generation can't take the church away from its grandfathers because they freely gave it. However, this generation can steal it from its own children and grandchildren. Maybe we should also think of it as our grandchildren's church.

I am so inspired by those who worked so very hard to bring all of this to us, I can't imagine not working to pass it on.

Anonymous said...

Interesting answers from youth.

Have you read this before?

RevFisk said...

Thank you for your words. The give me encouragement.

From what I can tell, most of those who help plan these events are selected, or found through networking. It is a very protected status.

The findings are fascinating. Aside from the high level of sexual activity among our youth, what bothered me most was the sheer legalism of the questions themselves. Do you do this? Do you not do that? No wonder our youth conceive of Christianity as a religion of morals.

The only way this changes is if the laity begin to speak out.

Anonymous said...

"From what I can tell, most of those who help plan these events are selected, or found through networking. It is a very protected status."

As a lay person who attends regularly, serves on all kinds of committees, contributes financially, etc, when I see a statement like that, it makes my head nearly want to explode. Based on what I have seen, these folks are no more experts in leading youth and instructing them in the faith than... Okay, well, they aren't more qualified than pastors certainly. It seems like overconfidence on their part.

It looks like the Dunning-Kruger Effect where

"for a given skill, incompetent people will:
1. tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
2. fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
3. fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
4. recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve."–Kruger_effect

It seems that attendance at these youth gatherings is larger than anything else in the synod. LWML national events aren't that large. With so many in attendance, surely the leadership should take the time to supervise the planning very carefully. Why are we handing the reins to the largest synod wide events to these folks?

I found it particularly significant that the girls outnumbered guys 2:1 in attendance. Just anecdote, but my son rolls his eyes immediately when he sees the liturgical dancing.

As for sexual activity, I am not surprised. I asked a very nice teen girl at our youth group which she thought was most unacceptable to parents of teens, sexual activity, pregnancy, or marriage? She quickly answered, "marriage." The first is discouraged, the second strongly discouraged, but early marriage is forbidden. When it comes to sexual activity, we look the other way. Unwed pregnancy, we tolerate. But marriage will get you cut off, period. So, it is a reverse legalism that reinforces bad behavior, because outward appearance is most important to people. Sure, God may look at the heart, but our friends see the outside.

RevFisk said...

Again, you'll get no argument from me. You portray the issue with insight and clarity.

How make a difference? I would say, start by writing letters to the new President, the Vice-President's, and BoD, your District President, and the National Board for Mission officers. Say what you mean, but try not to attack. Rather, speak of your anecdotes from the teen's you know and their personal experience. Speak of your fear as a parent. And then ask what you can do to help. With the new administration, you might actually hear a response. :) One can hope, at least.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the tweet about the radio program! I will have to tune in.

Small world, St. Onge is our LWML zone counselor.

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