I’m the pastor that oversees all of our church’s youth and young adult ministries. In our context this means everybody from junior high/middle school to 25ish.
With young adults I’m often considering how to help them transition through the developmental stage of late adolescence, get them connected to the larger church, help them discover their identity in Christ, see the purpose that God has for them and ultimately live as adult followers of Jesus Christ. It’s a dirty job, but as the saying goes- “somebody has to do it.”
Then I think about the students that are in our youth ministry. I start to wonder if what we’re doing with them and their families now is going to prepare them for the eventual challenges of late-stage adolescence. To be honest, I’m not sure if it is. I’m truly wondering what inconsistencies there might be in our approach to dealing with young people.
At what point do we, in a developmentally appropriate way, start addressing the needs of late adolescents earlier on? Do we ever address them or are the needs of “early” adolescence too pressing? If we decided to address them somehow, how do we do so and how do we as a church make those adjustments?
No answers, just questions