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The Case Against Youth Ministry: Exhibit A

I hope Lydia doesn't mind my posting this video so soon on the heels of her excellent "ladies and gentlemen" post, but it pertains tangentially to the whole "smokin' hot" wives phenomenon, and will provide (I hope) a much needed levity break. The video is hilarious only because of our impotence in the face of a real catastrophe. And, yes, it's supposed to be a parody. Unfortunately the parody is far from obvious to anyone who has been exposed to contemporary "youth ministry".

Suffice it to say that even the church is running out of grown-ups.

Comments (13)

Safe to say that if dearest Jesus grants me my desire to be a Catholic Priest then I will NOT be feeding this poison to the kids. Instead I will getting them to read the "Baltimore Catechism and "The Catechism of Peserverance" and installing a love of Lord and Our Lady.

I'm familiar with the harebrained antics of some 'trendy' vicars in the Church of England, but I'd never head of a 'youth pastor' until I watched this satirical video of one in action.

Was 'Ignatius' let loose on an unsuspecting audience of students, or were they on the inside of the parody and co-operated with its purpose?

Lydia has posted the video before:


...not that I don't mind a re-post. It's a funny video.

I mean, "not that I mind a re-post."

I don't mind at all, Jeff. It shows that you agree with me in my post. And the video really does come to mind in connection with my post.

The thing is, I was in "youth groups" and had "youth pastors" many-a year ago, and it was nothing like this. It _can_ be a good thing. But it has to be, dare I say it, self-consciously countercultural. :-)

Do you in fact see something comparable happening in Catholic "youth ministry," Jeff? Or have you?

Lydia, do a google search for "LifeTeen" when you get the chance. The founder is now excommunicated, but LifeTeen remains a popular ministry in the Catholic Church. We have one at our local parish, electric guitars and all. Fortunately I've never sat through a talk like the one in the video, but I'm pretty sure it isn't far off the mark.

The thing is, I was in "youth groups" and had "youth pastors" many-a year ago, and it was nothing like this. It _can_ be a good thing. But it has to be, dare I say it, self-consciously countercultural. :-)

Lydia, I'm sure there are contexts in which a youth group can work. Among homeschoolers, for example, I think there could be significant benefits. But for most young people who already spend far too much time under the influence of their peers, a youth group just perpetuates the toxic youth culture we should be pulling them out of. As far as LifeTeen goes, providing young people with their own customized pop-culture liturgies breaks up families and undermines what should be normal in parish life.

This is hilarious and horrible all in one! I'm blown away.

I do go to LifeTeen Mass at our parish on occasion (partly because I was just too lazy to go to an earlier Mass, partly as a form of penance).

It is all very "Nixon doing disco".

Guitars, drums, a very "forced" participation. Far too casual, in dress and demeanor. Nothing particularly heretical, just very banal and vulgar (as in very common, everyday, immitating the world sort of way). Priest and main musician/MC do a little singing practice complete with banter back and forth, like Laurel and Hardy, just before the Mass trying to get everyone to sing along - almost a stand-up routine (felt like telling them they should take it on the road - like, right now). The most ironic part is just before the opening procession our musician/MC blares over the micorphone that we should all take a moment to concentrate our thoughts on what is about to happen -HARD TO CONCENTRATE WHILE YOU KEEP TALKING AND STRUMMING YOUR GUITAR OVER THE LOUDSPEAKERS. CUE THE DRUMS.

Must find that quiet place.

This video is exactly why I love being Catholic and feel bad for other Christians who have to (or choose to) endure this modern crap. It's out there, believe me. I have a "youth pastor" friend at a church in Virginia. While he's not as over the top as our pal "Ignatius," the general trends and themes are the same. Their church is very Web 2.0-ish complete with a loud 8-piece rock band, giant video screens, and a light show. The main pastor wears his drew carey black-rimmed glasses, designer "skinny" jeans and the members are like zombies for Christ. It all seems so fake. It's quite creepy actually. That said I cracked up because this video nailed it.

@EC - The "zombies for Christ" observation is an important one. I remember going to an Acquire the Fire event (a massive event held in a stadium and organized by Ron Luce) in the 90s. I was so creeped out by the experience I ran from Christianity and persecuted it for years. There were other reasons for my loss of religion (e.g. licentiousness), but the disgusting use of crowd mentality can't be ignored.

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