In every previous generation, young people were expected to grow out of it and they were proud when they did. I can still remember tieing my first tie. … how proud I was to tie my first tie myself when I went to church on Sunday morning. So, through all of human history up till about 30 years ago, we cordially opened our arms to the youth and said, “here’s what adult people do and we welcome you to join us as soon as you prove yourself responsible.” And now, many people think that we have to take a different tack and say to the young people, “we want to be like you”.
The last thing any young person needs is any encouragement to be adolescent. They need to be encouraged to be adults and to be responsible. So the last thing we [should] do in ministry to them is tell them it’s fine to remain as youthful people, cut off from everything in their adolescent ghetto. They live in Lord of the Flies. Their electronic media – their Twitters, Facebook, texting and so forth – put them in an adolescent ghetto. More so than any previous generation, they are cut off from the world of adults.
- T. David Gordon, author of Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal