At the recent Rethinking Youth Ministry event I led in Boulder, a question came up that any person leading ministry with youth in mainline and progressive churches probably needs to ask on a regular basis. It's a question we pose in our book Missional Youth Ministry: Moving from Gathering Teenagers to Scattering Disciples:
"With all the energy we expend trying to attract youth to our churches with flashy and entertainment-centered programming, perhaps we've forgotten to ask why we want all of these teenagers there in the first place. More importantly, perhaps we've failed to offer our young people a strong, compelling reason to be at church beyond lock-ins and weekend retreats. What do we say if they ask us, 'Why come to worship? Why be a Christian? What difference does it make?'" (p. 22)
What do you think? For those of us who don't see eternal salvation as the central issue of Christianity, why do we want youth to be part of the Church and the faith? For those who do see salvation as the primary motivator for being a Christian, is there something more to following the faith than simply maintaining one's salvation?