Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

Christianity for young adults

talking with a friend about college experiences the other day, I was reminded why churches have trouble recruiting young adults. I realized this in college, too... christianity at that age demands a very different lifestyle from the world around you. At that particular age, it creates a divide. And it's really only at that age.

You can watch kids playing together and have no idea which ones do or don't go to church.

You can hang out with married 40 year olds at a dinner party with wine and it never comes up.

But in college, the things college kids do to party (drink, hook up) are frowned upon by the religious types. it is VERY important that you are not drinking, not having sex, dressing modestly, and among the party kids it is equally important that you ARE drinking, having sex, and dressing suggestively. They are polar opposites. Both groups will grow up a little. The party kids will start wearing more clothes. The Christians will allow sex once sanctioned by God. Many Christians will drink alcohol once they're of legal age, many college students will curb the binge drinking.

One obvious solution I see here would be for Christianity to change its message a bit. Given the fact that millions of partying college-goers eventually become good citizens, I don't think it's a complete betrayal of the faith to ignore the beer and sex for just a few years. I mean sure, encourage people to be healthy and responsible, but stop treating 20 year olds like 10 year olds. They are not monks.

How great would it be if all those campus Christian groups became places to study deep, relevant concepts about how we can actually make the world a better place? "Social Entrepreneur" is a huge term now, with young people making waves in the world by opening zero-waste businesses, raising money to save wildlife, educating communities, breaking poverty cycles. They're not exactly being churned out by religious groups. What if those college years were a four year study on the challenges facing our world? 800 million hungry people do not care if you are having sex with your boyfriend or not.

It's interesting that I spent years going to sunday schools, youth groups, and church classes, but have still taken so long to learn on my own about economics, team building, leadership, negotiation and compromise. I know there are bright spot out there and churches who strive to be relevant. There are Christian social entrepreneurs. But again, those churches seem separate, set apart. Different. The weirdly progressive ones. The rest need to recognize someday that when you're not a kid anymore, your education needs to evolve. You went to Sunday School, you learned the Bible studies, now how do we actually help people?

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