Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | December 18, 2008

Thought of the Day

h/t to Pes in the NLM comment box

Popular music in church doesn’t make us come in, it only points to a sad attempt to “relate to us”.

This is it precisely. If you want really good popular music, everyone knows you don’t go to church to hear it. So the music clearly isn’t the draw. Maybe it’s the attempt to “relate” that one hopes will be a draw? If so, this will clearly not work at all with teenagers. They take one look at that, correctly conclude it is manipulative, and avoid you like the plague. Or they will attend for a while, put up with your attempts to relate to them, and feel all the while that familiar tension of superiority and neediness. Then they’ll leave.

To hang on to the youth. Do the following:

1. Be truly Christ-like in word and deed, and be as consistent as you can.

2. Don’t water down the faith and remove its saltiness.

3. Invite them to be adults in faith with you, but make it clear it will take effort. They will have to put away childish things.

4. Go out of your way to help them learn the ropes.

5. Praise them justly when they do good, and chastise them gently when they do not. Be sincere and specific in your praise. Do not mollycoddle them.

If you do all this, young people will not only join you, they will see you as someone worth joining.

Manipulate and belittle them? Denature the faith? Run after secular culture as if it were the authority? You deserve not only diffidence, but scorn. And believe me, they do scorn you, whether you know it or not.


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