When I was Boundless editor about eight years ago, my favorite compliment we got came from a secular, liberal-leaning site. They praised us for running thoughtful articles for a young audience instead of making embarrassing efforts to sound young, as many other Christian groups did: We never said things like “Jesus is radical.” In my thank-you note, I promised that we never would. Subsequent editors, happily, shared that philosophy.
Obviously, we believe in outreach here. But there’s outreach and there’s pandering. From youth-group days onward, you’ve probably seen both. Some ministries for the young focus on solid, biblical stuff. Others try so hard to be hip — desperately trying to get young people to like them — that at best they distract from a biblical message, and at worst they replace it with others they presume will be more popular. Still others land somewhere in between.
Where have you seen ministry for the young (anywhere from teens through young adulthood) being done right? Where have you seen it done wrong, and how? No need for names, of course (“Here’s how the church where I grew up, St. Andrews in Searchlight, Nevada, messed up”). Just examples.