The following definitions have farther reaching implications than academic differences of meaning. On a macro level they represent what we as a society expect from adolescents ages 13-19. On a micro level they represent what we as adults and church leaders think this age group is capable of:
noun- a person aged between 13 and 19 years.
the period between childhood and adult age. 2 the qualities of vigour, freshness, immaturity, etc. associated with being young. 3 treated as sing. or pl. young people.
*These definitions are found via the Oxford Dictionary.
These definitions aptly articulate the prevailing attitude and expectations we have for our young people that fall in the aforementioned age category. In a way they also represent the confusion and tension that comes from actually living within this reality. The life of a youth is one that can be characterized by the desire and longing to be grown up, and mature and the angst that comes from still feeling lost and confused with what it means to grow up.
This confusion combined with the expectations that real, or perceived come from the adults in their life that are dangerously low, lead to youth living in a world of spiritual, emotional and physical haze.
The promise and call of scripture has been left out of our message to youth.
Are we shackling, further confusing, and retarding the growth process of our youngest disciples because we do not consider them adult?
We believe that as a society our standards for young people and our expectations for them are tragically low. In the church, we are receiving from them exactly what we are asking of them, to be there age. That is it!
We desire to reverse this trend through the power of God and his saving grace!