Friday, March 12, 2010

Rejecting Adolescence in the Church - Conclusion

A Reasonable Response to an Unfounded Psychological Theory
by McKrunk
Part 8 — Conclusion
[Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]

What Now?

The answer to this question ought to be simple and clear: We should follow the Biblical model for church, life, and ministry.

To begin with, we should all repent of our propagation of the psychological lie of adolescence.  Parents must begin to raise their children with the intention that they will enter young adulthood as they go through puberty.  All associated false scripts and negative attitudes must be discarded.  A real effort must be made to cut off this thinking and acting from the Body.  All those who have contact with young adults must treat them with the expectations that they can behave with self-control and dignity.

There must be an intentional effort to reintegrate the young adults into the church.  The formal segregation of youth groups, and the informal segregation of the young adults consistently gathering in corners of the church building ought to be ended.

The youth pastor ought to be lovingly relieved of extra- or anti-Biblical burdens and privileges and either transition to a Biblically mandated ministry if he is qualified, or given a severance sufficient enough to allow him to transition into another career.

The older men and women must take personal responsibility to mentor young adults; teaching them to be dignified, self controlled, temperate and respectable.  Young adults ought to also have the opportunity to involve themselves in the working world through apprenticeships and internships.

Those young adults who refuse to transition to adulthood after reasonable efforts have been made to encourage and support them in their transition, ought not be coddled by church or parents, but be allowed to face the consequences of his or her actions as an adult.


As stated earlier, it is often said that the difference between the church and the culture is “ten years.”  In the area of how the church treats its young adults, the church has the opportunity to take the lead, and widen the divide between church and culture by over one hundred-twenty years.

Churches who stand up for the Biblical truths of young adulthood and reject the psychological myths of adolescence will face consequences.  They may offend, and perhaps even lose, a portion of their congregation.  Those who speak out against youth groups will likely be scorned and persecuted by those in the church committed to the belief in the tradition of youth groups and the psychology of adolescence.  The hope associated with the message is well worth it.

Recognizing the “teen years” as years of early adulthood filled with productive energy and accomplishment would have a dramatic effect not only on the church, but on this entire nation.  The wealth being created, rather than consumed and wasted, by these new-found adults could provide better lives for everyone.  The ten-to twenty-year “head start” on adulthood by Christian young adults would produce wise elders in the next generation that would be far better equipped to mentor their generation of young adults than the elders of this generation.

This one action has the potential to position the church as a far brighter light to the world, as they would see in a clear and identifiable way that there is truth and wisdom in the word of GOD as they witness more mature, responsible, dignified and well-adjusted young adults who are startlingly and refreshingly different from the young adults they are accustomed to encountering, and who show a strength and passion in their commitment to Christ and the Church.  Let us light the lamp and put the foolishness of adolescence behind us.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen.  -Jude 1:24-25

[Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]

Sources Referenced

Barna Group (9-11-2006).  Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years. Retrieved Febuary 10, 2010, from

Epstein, Robert (2007).  The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen.  Sanger CA: Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press.

Epstein, Robert (June, 2007).  The Myth of the Teen Brain Scientific American Special Edition, Vol.17 Issue 2, 68-75.

Ferguson, Darrell (2007). [Sermon Notes: The Body of Christ (contd)What is a Church? Part 2].  Delivered 2-11-07 at Agape Bible Church, Thornton, CO.

Garland, Ken, & Fortosis, Steve (Spring, 1991).  Historical origins of professional evangelical youth work in the church.  Religious Education, vol. 86 Issue 2, 275-285.

Gingrich, Newt (11/10/2008).  Let’s Scrap Adolescence and Grow Up.  Business Week, 4107, 85-86

Palladino, Grace (1996).  Teenagers: An American History.  New York NY: Basic Books.

Ray, Brian D. (2003).  Homeshooling Grows Up.  Retrieved Febuary 10, 2010, from

Richter, Magnuson, & Baizerman (Summer 1998).  Reconceiving Youth Ministy.  Religious Education, Vol 93 #3.  340-357

Savage, Jon (2007).  Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture.  New York NY: Penguin Group.

Senter III, Mark H. (2004).  Horace Bushnell, Theodore Cuyler, and Francis Clark: a study of how youth ministry began.  Journal of Youth Ministry, Vol. 2 Issue 2, 31-51.

Smith, Michael J., & Farris, Michael P.  (10-22-2004).  Academic Statistics on Homeschooling.  Retrieved February 10, 2010, from

Vestal, Tommy.  The Un-foreseen Consequences of Age Segregation of Youth.  Retrieved Febuary 10, 2010, from

White, David F.  (3/13/2002) [Review of the book Youth Ministry in Modern America: 1930 to the Present] Christian Century, Vol. 119 Issue 6, 52-59.

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