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How Teenagers Transformed the Church

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Interesting series of posts on the Christianity Today blog - the second part of How Teenagers Transformed the Church is up ... and it made me wonder: who is the next batch of students ready to transform the church in this generation? I think they're time is closer than

Youth ministry has significantly altered the course of American church history. The youth group of today is the church, and its leaders, of tomorrow. How did this shift occur, and what can we infer about the future of the church based on current trends in youth ministry?

By the mid-1950s, the first wave of baby boomers was nearing adolescence. In 1955, Warner Bros. Pictures released Rebel Without a Cause, the landmark film featuring misunderstood teenager Jim Stark, played by James Dean. If Rebel launched the youth culture, Elvis Presley solidified it a year later when “Heartbreak Hotel” sold 300,000 records in its first week.

Meanwhile, innovative Christian leaders were expanding the boundaries of traditional ministry through the inception of organizations which sought to reach teenagers outside the walls of the church. In 1938, a young seminary student in Texas named Jim Rayburn began a weekly club for high school students who had no interest in church. Three years later, Young Life was born.

Rayburn is perhaps best remembered for his assertion, “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” Young Life club meetings featured singing, a skit or two, and a simple message about Jesus Christ. The idea was that faith could be life-changing and fun.

Here's part 1 if you missed it, too.


posted by Joshua Griffin @ 3:00 PM |

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At 5/21/2007, Blogger JMM said...

As a student leader of my ministry(HSM), I can't agree more. Our team has really affected our area. We keep learning, and will continue to reach out, cuz thats how christ-following teenagers are going to do it!
Evidence Check out: pchsm.blogspot.com


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