Two weeks ago I tried an interactive question on this blog I asked a question and for your feedback. I was busy last week though and forgot to post my response. So with an apology I offer my answer. The question I asked you to respond to is What is the most important issue that our teenagers are facing today?
The way I laid out this question was in the context of a church youth minister search committee. If they asked you this question, how would you respond? With apologies to Chap Clark, I do not believe that there is a fundamental change in teenagers over the years. Technology has brought about many changes in culture and to our society, but essentially here are no new sins, only new ways to get involved with them.
When I asked this question my answer is that the problem for teenagers is the same as for every other person; not knowing Christ. The biggest problem any person can have is being lost and having to deal with judgment and eternity. I know, however, that this not really the answer a committee is looking for. They want to know what unique problem is there today that teenagers deal with that was formerly not a problem.
To that question my answer is that there is such a proliferation of media that it can be impossible to hear the voice of God over all the other screaming voices. A Twitter stream, and a Facebook feed, and dealing with text messages from 9 people all at once, while wearing earbuds makes it very hard to have quiet time. In fact, this constant stream can make it hard to hear any voice. And eventually it can rob teenagers of the ability to be around the people they are around. I believe that this is the greatest problem facing our students today because it hinders the ability to have real relationships. Or maybe it just changes what the word "relationship" means.
On another note: I really enjoyed the feedback I got on this one. Everyone wrote well-thought-out answers and I can’t disagree with anyone. I am inspired to do this on a regular basis. Ask a youth ministry question on a Wednesday give my reply the following week. Would you be willing to keep participating if I did that?