Monday, July 16, 2018

Today's teens are light years ahead of the ACOG's in many, many areas.




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. 

24 comments:

James said...

Excellent post and all true. But the acog's cannot change because its not the Herbal approved method of conducting business. So they die instead.

Anonymous said...

5. Sermons about marriage or child rearing they have no reason to stay awake for.

You forgot: "Sermons about child rearing given by men who have not had any children of their own."

Anonymous said...

All three of my children stopped attending LCG for these very same reasons. They were bored by sermons that had no relevance to them or they got sick of the constant list of things they should not do. They got involved in community groups and do good acts of service in the community, something they would never have done if they had stayed in the LCG. My youngest to leave was 10 years old. He made the decision. I am one of those parents that got sick of childless Weston tell me how to raise my kids. He has no idea, nor do I really think he cares. It is all about control.

Byker Bob said...

I don’t believe the ACOgs have the financial resources to dedicate to youth ministries and programs. If they did, it might be worthwhile to examine and consider the activities offered by some of the mega-churches.

Of course, some lurking minister is probably going to see this suggestion, and mock and scoff and call them “Magus-churches”. But, if someone could get past that, they might understand that non-sabbatarian Christian churches have really put a lot of time and thought into their youth ministries, and there is some stuff that could be borrowed and tailored to an ACOg environment.

BB

R.L. said...

UCG has developed a "missions" program of sorts, in the "Good Works" program.

But the leaders probably realize how upset some members might be, if the word "missions" was put on it.

Anonymous said...

"Sermons about child rearing given by men who have not had any children of their own."

Like Jesus?

If they don't have kids, can't they read the bible and get info from James Dobson?

Anonymous said...

One Friday night our teenage girls said they did not want to go to church the next day. We all sat down and talked about it and agreed they did not have to go. We all went to the beach the next day and have never been back to an LCG service since. We are not in fear of losing our salvation or displeasing God by no longer attending.

Anonymous said...

James Dobson is NOT a good source for raising children! No one needs some other religious but doing that . Parents have a brain and common sense and should use it!

Anonymous said...

"James Dobson is NOT a good source for raising children!"

Agreed. They should change the name to Focus on the Bigoted, Misogynistic, Pussygrabbing Patriarchy. That's James Dobson's idea of "family."

Anonymous said...

One exciting activity church youth could do is a rock toss with the Flurry rock. If the rock is too heavy, how about a sledge hammer swing contest. Instead of just one throne, we could have hundreds or thousands of little throne rocks..

Anonymous said...

Is there a twitter account for Flurry's Rock yet? ;) :p :D

Near_Earth_Object said...

I don't think we want to see Armstrongist organizations concoct effective youth programs. We want the current trend of young people abandoning Armstrongism based on their genuine recognition of what it is to continue. We want to see as many young people as possible recognize Armstrongism for what it is and climb the wall to freedom.

Armstrongism contains the seeds of its own destruction. It is just that this destructive process is prolonged, perhaps indefinitely, by a continuing trickle of new and unfortunate recruits.

When Rep. Leo Ryan visited Jonestown, someone passed him a note saying something like "help me get out of here." Jim Jones said it was a bunch of lies. I think there are people who want out of Armstrgonism just as desperately. Likely, most of them are young people.

RSK said...

Or, in many COG congregations, child rearing sermons given by fawning men who have raised despicable kids.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we want to see Armstrongist organizations concoct effective youth programs.

We don't have to worry about that because they aren't going to do that. We all know this. We know what could be done. We know full well also what will not be done.

They are way too invested in antiquated, old-style routine and constructs of authority to even think about changing things up. If they did, the old-timers (tithe-payers) would leave. They're honestly stuck in a rut. The teen issue is just one of many issues that are confronting Armstrongism in the digital generation. If they keep on the way they are going - a refusal to adapt, a refusal to change, the only thing that can happen is for them to fizzle within thirty years, at most.

That's a prediction - not a "prophesy". I'm basing it on the current older generation 50+ gone, no replacement youth (they're leaving), no new converts (they're not coming), and what would be left? just small house groups scattered about of the strange and the wacky. I do not see any charismatic leader like HWA coming for quite a few reasons, and even if one did, no one would listen to him. The COG's have an indisputable record of failed prophecies and out and out lies. This is not the 50s - 70s. And, as John would say, Time will tell.



Anonymous said...

Giving the same old material and not truly spirituality feeding the flock must be by design. It must be a decision by the higher ups who dictate policy. This reminds me of my first minister who kept complaining from the pulpit about members reading self help books, and implying that he had the authority to insist members don't read such books.
He was power crazed and all his personal 'counseling' was to the effect that the church crazies were the master race and above the law. All with religious window dressing of course.
He was driven by the vision of creating a mini society that was a paradise for crooks

Still Learning said...

I wish that I could say this post isn't an accurate reflection, but sadly it is all too often. It is becoming increasingly difficult to engage the youth, and as parents, we struggle to make religion relevant to our kids.
We haven taken to using 'outside' sources to fill in the blanks, with some success, and hope that it will continue to be effective as they grow to their teen years.

Byker Bob said...

When I was growing up in the ‘60s, all it took to engage youth was the Germans, the tribulation and the place of safety. Unfortunately, reruns of that don’t play well. Once the original fails (1972-75), each time you do a 3-5 year reset, it loses a bit more impact, until after 45 years, there is no more sense of urgency.

I also wonder. All the kids have to know that there are hundreds of splinters. Assuming “one true church” still carries any weight, how could anyone know for certain which one was it? That something you’d believe just because your splinter leader told you his was the one? As the kids would say, “That’s pretty lame!”

“The world’s” youth might have a leg up on most of the ACOg kids, but I’m betting the church kids at least have enough smarts to know a time and date stamp when the see it. The more advanced ones probably even know about dna!

BB

Anonymous said...

"Sermons about child rearing given by men who have not had any children of their own."

Like Jesus?


Anon 3:08PM seems to think that if Jesus did something, his splinter-leader can do it, too,

Well, as soon as I see Jerry Weston walk on water or turn water into wine, I'll take his child-rearing advice seriously.

Still Learning said...

BB, it's amazing how some of the youth think (or have been taught to think).
I know one young adult who said, quite sincerely, "Well, the minister said it, and that's good enough for me."
But there are others who don't buy into this 'one true splinter' idea, no matter how much the minister says it.

Anonymous said...

Still learning, as a parent i would highly reccomend The Bible Project website for your kids.

Still Learning said...

Thank you, 10:20; I will check it out!

Dumbhead said...

The splinters should be balanced with the teens. Maybe most of the teens aren't into religion. So how do you keep them interested? Stop with the 1hr.15 min. sermons. That may be even too long for an adult. If the teen really is not interested leave them home. Forcing church on them is not helping. They'll leave when its time. Have special ministers for the teens to talk to. Ones that can relate to the real world and not ones that only know Ambassador College. If there is a teen camp stop with bible studies. Let it be fun. Stop cramming religion on them. Maybe have special services for teens on the Sabbath. But not an hour and fifteen minutes. Its like being in school again. How many other churches out there have such long sermons? Their teens may get turned off too. Let them have ministers they can relate too, not ones pushing 80 years old. That's all for now

NO2HWA said...

If a preacher cannot get his message across in 15-20 minutes then he has no business preaching. No one needs 100 bullet points expounded upon in a sermon. You do not see any sermon by Jesus in the bible that goes on for an hour or an hour and a half. He got his point across in very few words. The church has no need for a Waterhouse or any other pontificating minister that speaks in order to hear himself talk.

Anonymous said...

One word for your comment...Awesome. Hits the nail right on the head.