From a reader here:
Today's teens are light years ahead of the ACOG's in many, many areas.
They are a well informed, device-laden, information-ready, active generation. Their schools are interactive, their music and interests are digital. Even the ones born in COG's thanks to their schools and their smart devices. They hear anything, they can look it up in literally seconds to find either the refutation or acknowledgement of the statement. They are not bored with what is offered. (Call it "the World", if you wish.) They ARE bored with the COG's.
Let's look at what MAINSTREAM CONTEMPORARY Christianity offers teenagers that COG's do not, and will not.
1. A Dedicated Youth Pastor specifically hired and trained to meet the spiritual needs of teenagers.
2. A Dedicated Youth Service specifically designed to engage and teach the issues and concerns of teenagers.
3. Wholesome Christian Music by a special Teen Praise Team where teens can worship God with music and song.
4. Mission Trips to impoverished places to help teens learn how to help others and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Here is what the COG's offer the teens during Sabbath Services.
1. Sermons about everything they cannot do.
2. Sermons about adult material they are not ready for, nor should have to hear.
3. Sermons about some historical thingamajig in a place called whatchamacallit.
4. Sermons given by a person who has no idea how to give a sermon.
5. Sermons about marriage or child rearing they have no reason to stay awake for.
6. Corrective sermons that a kid should not have to hear.
7. Sermons about demons, satan, and the paranormal that are approached in a far too adult and descriptive manner.
8. Special music, that to the teens, is not special.
9. A great time to catch a nod off while making sure not to realllly fall asleep.
10. Endless recitations of scripture without engaging content. Just write it down on the notepad and close your eyes again.
This has been a COG Culture for as long as the COG's have been around, from Radio to Worldwide to the scattered churches. The problem is - the Youth and Teens have changed. The Church structure and ministers have not.
They are NOT meeting the needs of the youth. The Mainstream Churches have far more superior programs because they have invested time, money, and skill to the cause. The COG's thought that a big sports program, summer camps, and youth trips would be enough to keep them in while making them listen to their main sabbath services. These days - it's much different.
I'm pretty sure it's just as boring as being in detention at school - or sitting at a library for two hours. I wonder just how many teens sneak their cell phones out during services without the pastor knowing about it.
IF THEY WANTED to, they could develop a cohesive program that could at least be a start to make the youth feel welcomed and fed. But they do not. So the teens leave, and then the COG's wonder where they all went to.