A study commissioned by a protestant organization has found that Christian youth groups, with an infantile approach to the faith and a focus heavily on being “hip” to this fallen culture, are a predominate factor in driving many young people from Christianity. Mind, this study looked at Christians in general and not Catholics, but the Church has mimicked disastrous protestant programs in recent decades and has reaped the same whirlwind of devastation:
A new study might reveal why a majority of Christian teens abandon their faith upon high school graduation. Some time ago, Christian pollster George Barna documented that 61 percent of today’s 20-somethings who had been churched at one point during their teen years are now spiritually disengaged. They do not attend church, read their Bible or pray.
According to a new five-week, three-question national survey sponsored by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), the youth group itself is the problem. Fifty-five percent of American Christians are concerned with modern youth ministry because it’s too shallow and too entertainment-focused, resulting in an inability to train mature believers. But even if church youth groups had the gravitas of Dallas Theological Seminary, 36 percent of today’s believers are convinced youth groups themselves are not even biblical……
……..“Today’s church has created peer dependency,” McManus says. “The inherent result of youth groups is that teenagers in the church are focused on their peers, not their parents or their pastors. It’s a foreign sociology that leads to immaturity, a greater likelihood of sexual activity, drug experimentation and a rejection of the authority of the Word of God.
I was going to go on about the Prussian school model and the isolation from the family it tends to engender in children (indeed, it was designed to do just that), and how it is unsurprising that when Christians – including the original Christians, Catholics – perpetuate this model by dividing up families and having special Masses for this group, special programs for that……it tends to be self-defeating.
The family is the Church in microcosm. As goes the family, so will go the Church, and vice versa. Anything that tends to negatively affect the family – such as educating children away from parental influence, with huge emphasis given to how their peers perceive them – will negatively effect the Church. Lifeteen Masses, CCD, teen youth groups with often highly questionable programs – all these things at least tangentially weaken family unity. They also help further inculcate children in the culture of peer dependence noted above, and when many young adults today are not just unfaithful regarding their religious duties, but are out and out atheist-communist enemies of the Faith, it is not surprising that so many of these young souls fall away.
So many of these programs are adopted almost unthinkingly, in a spirit of imitation that demonstrates both a lack of understanding of the Faith and of human nature. Catholic parishes have “vacation bible schools” because protestant sects have them. They even use the same, protestant-generated teaching materials! That’s just one small example, I could continue on and on through the entire panoply of mimicry. It shows how deranged from the right understanding and practice of the Faith so many in positions of authority in the Church have become.
Anyway, go to Mass as a family. Don’t go to goofy, gimmicky “special” Masses. Home school. Pray together daily. Carefully monitor your kid’s activities, especially on the computer. You can’t guarantee you’re children will remain faithful throughout their lives, but if you do the above, demonstrate virtue, and avoid obvious vice you will immeasurably increase the likelihood that your kids won’t fall away from the Faith. Source
I could not be less surprised at the above findings. If anything insults the intelligence (and potential) of young people it’s keeping them rooted in their limited experience and catering for their imaginary need for perpetual entertainment. Or maybe you disagree?