Misplaced

The video below chronicles what today’s youth are saying about the church. It’s an honest, sometimes hard-hitting, evaluation of how the church is, or isn’t, serving the needs of our young people. Even the host of ‘Misplaced’, Shauna Simmonds, laments over the “low relevance of the Canadian church” and implores the church to put aside the usual fare of programs in favour of creating “God-centred gatherings.” What a great thing to aim for! The vantage point this video offers is immensely helpful in facilitating an understanding of how the church can help, rather than hinder, the next generation. Produced by Make You Think. Run time = 15min 38sec.

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How does this strike you?

4 thoughts on “Misplaced

  1. This video offers fantastic insight into the lives of youth today. I found myself agreeing with everything that the indivduals said in the video. Although I can’t relate entirely with every example that was mentioned, I have encountered many students who struggle with the difficulties that were expressed in the video. I think that it is important to realize that youth today experience a very unique struggle since they are presented with conflicting messages as members of society as well as members of the church (if they are currently members). For example, the media today portrays women in a way that is highly sexual and demeaning, yet young people have been convinced that this is the woman’s right and that she is simply a feminist who is acting on her sexuality to the same degree that men do. The Christian person, in my mind, would say that this is not right for a man or a woman and that to act in such a way is to disrespect your own body. I think that young people are craving a connection with people who are willing to voice their own opinion about which path is the right path. With many young people today lacking guidance, I think they are seeking it anywhere they can find it and if they can find it through the church than all the better. I don’t mean to sound as if I am being judgemental because I’m not. I’m simply saying that when no one offers their opinion about what is right and what is wrong then we end up with a society that is very confused about what to do. I believe that all people want to do what is right but are not always clear about which path is the right one. If the church is one means by which young people can clarify, for themselves, what they think is right then we will all be better because of it. Importantly, I do think that the most valid argument made from the video was that young people often feel judged when they attend church and as a result, decide not to attend at all. In order to help young people who may be confused about their own morals and beliefs, the people of the church must make them feel welcome and invite them to find out what is right and what is wrong for themselves. When given the chance to figure it out with a little bit of guidance, we often will find our way to God.

  2. Thanks for posting this, I think that the whole Body of Christ needs to see this. Relationship is so hard, and being authentic is not what most of us in the pew were taught to be, but isn’t that just what Jesus is all about?
    We cannot point some to the Loving God, and teach about what He did in order to save us until we have shown them that we care, deeply, about them as an individual.

    Shawna is a remarkable young women, who has taken a brave step to show us just what the world needs us to be, may we take it, so that we can show the world what they need from us – Him.

  3. This video has really left me thinking about what needs to be addressed at The Well for the unchurched. Since I was raised in a church, I already have a specific idea about what the church should be and is versus those who will be brand new to the idea. I think that those people who are not sure about church but are in the process of trying to figure out for themselves how they feel about it will want the tough issues addressed. I find that often times, even Christians avoid addressing the difficult issues since they make them uncomfortable. Rather than beating around the bush about what I am talking about, I will simply state some of the things that I think youth today struggle with and want addressed at church. Sex! That’s right, as we know many young people today are sexually active and will have questions surrounding sex. For example, in a society that renders common law unions as equal to marriage, is that still considered premarital sex (in God’s view) and why is premarital sex viewed as wrong if two people love each other? Another big issue that teens are faced with in schools on a daily basis is sexuality. Many people believe that people can not choose their sexuality and so, if that’s the case, why is homosexuality viewed as wrong in the Bible? These are just a few of the issues that teens are experiencing today and I don’t think we are doing them any favours by leaving them to try and figure out the answers for themselves, without guidance. Rather, I believe they are looking for guidance and acknowledgement of these issues but are afraid to bring them up because they fear they will be judged. The only way we can ensure that the issues addressed at church are valid and meaningful to youth is to allow them a safe environment where they can share the issues that they are struggling with today. When that environment is established then they may feel welcome to grapple with these issues themselves, taking into consideration how God would view them as well.

  4. Thanks Jennifer & D.L. for these excellent comment posts! I love the fact that the two of you are so willing to bring your expertise to bear on The Well. You clearly understand what the landscape of ministry will need to look like to appropriately welcome teens and meaningfully address the myriad of issues they face. I look forward to taking up the challenge with you. They’re so worth it!

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