The Catholic YM Blog has been referred to as "the 411 of Catholic Youth Ministry." Your blogger is D. Scott Miller, director of the Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of Baltimore... Read more...
Basically, youth look towards church and find a disconnect to their lives. While it is not uncommon for younger adults to be less religiously affiliated than older folks, the Millennial generation’s rate of disaffiliation is higher than previous generations at comparable points in their life cycle.
For millenials, there must be a sense of frustration regarding this. If not, at least, WE should feel it. It’s like searching for something on-line and getting a 404 error message on their spiritual screens. It’s a generational thing, affecting all denominations, but Catholics are certainly getting walloped as it happens. And researchers indicated that it is probable that fewer Millennials than previous generations will reliably return to congregations when they are older, settled, and raising children.
Two-thirds (64 percent) of Millennials who were raised Catholic remain within affiliated with the Church, BUT one-quarter (25 percent) now identify as unaffiliated.
The MTV research indicates Millennials are seeking from religion to what they believe as what works in their world – an environment that’s open-sourced, fluid, hackable and allows for self-expression.
Our challenge is to recognize the individual while not forgoing community… to declare truth that affirms our orthodoxy without getting lost in a headline news-clip culture that capitalizes on negative and judgment.
Young people want the interactive, the opportunity to experiment and collaborate and make something. Young people look at church and wonder could church be something like that? Should it be something like that?
The adult church needs to affirm that the tradition of Church is exactly that… and needs to do so soon! Otherwise, the 404 message is discouraging the search. h/t the youth culture report
Three things going through my head (maybe more before I finish this).
1. Not that surprised by the info (though very frustrated by it).
2. Search “Ze Frank 404 error” for a great visual demonstration of what a 404 error feels like.
3. I was am curious how this ties in with The Juvenalization of American Christianity (Though I think the line about community vs individual is a nod at this)
4. (See I thought of more) I think that we are failing to teach our young people to use their Catholic Imagination. The faith is practical when viewed through God’s eyes, but not that of our culture. I see this a lot in the PNW, but the Jesuit Spirituality up here provides a nice conduit to explore this.
5. If youth ministry is the RD lab for the Church we need to invite a process of guided experimentation and searching. We need to present different types of spiritual practices (solid Christocentric ones) as experiments to discover their inner spiritual life, present lessons that allow youth to have concrete tangibles that represent deeper spiritual realities, allow for failure (wish this could be in bold) so that we can teach them how to deal with it, and we need to rediscover (for them and us) that liturgy is the ultimate experience of collaboration).
Dang it Scott, I am posting here when I should be blogging myself instead!!! Oh, well you make it easy when you do all the leg work.
Thanks for your good work you magnificent brother in the Lord.
It took me a minute to decode PNW as Pacific NorthWest.
I’m not sure that YM is the R&D lab except in how it allows individuals to experiment regarding their own faith… But, if YM is a clear indicator of what Church becomes… Then should we not be even MORE thoughtful about how we go about the Lord’s business in this regard? I think so!
Thanks for the reminder about Catholic imagination… I’m gonna be thinking on that for a bit!
The above will be put into the comments….. Have ReBuild on my list… Check FB messages regarding the youth event possibility
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