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The particular gifts of high school youth

The particular gifts of high school youth

Matt Marino writes:

Sr. High youth are the church’s best bellwether. They have just learned to think critically and have neither the patience nor the filter to be very kind in their critique. Help your parish both listen to their voice and lead those young people toward adulthood as committed Christians in the Anglican tradition.

The five gifts Marino enumerates are: I. Love and like the youth and children; II. Help the adults to be aware of the “messages” we are sending; III Have students in big-church; IV. Worship with excellence (with sub-categories), and V. Help parents understand their need for a Christian education.

Have a look.


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Bill Dilworth

Chacun à son djembe, I suppose.


Thanks for the comments!

Bill, Thank you for opening the door! First, it wasn’t me who lost you with drums, your argument is really with Kirk Hadaway. It was his research.

The issue though is what are our non-negotiables in worship? What are we willing to give up? Not to be attractional and dumb ourselves down to 4 songs and a sermon, but what are we willing to do to communicate who we are to a generation unexposed to things ancient and prayerful in a language THEY can understand?

The Communion Before Baptism argument seems to me to really be that our rules are in the way. The “relevant movement” seems to be saying that anything that takes explanation is in the way. I think that a big stumbling block for us is that our musical genres that tend to be inaccessible and/or poorly suited to our architecture. If one has a big Cathedral, the big organ works as designed. But in a mid-sized 1960’s church without the auditory delay, the skills of the Cathedral style music, the pacing of the Cathedral style preaching and (I am really going to ruffle feathers here) vergers, according to the data, just don’t work real well for anyone but us.

We say “we want youth!” What are the terms on which we want them? If it is solely on our terms, we will continue the trajectory we are on. If it is at the cost of becoming someone or something else altogether in the process, we give away our charism to the Body of Christ.

Btw, We use Psalm drumming at camp. It works well. UofA Chaplain Lucas Mix was the source. I think he brought it from Church of the Apostle’s (Karen Ward’s plant).

William R. MacKaye

Actually adding drums to the accompaniment of the Psalms is powerful. At St. Stephen and the Incarnation, on occasion drums thrum away at the principal eucharist during the singing the Psalm of the day–and we always sing the Psalm. It’s wonderful. I wish there was drumming more often.

Bill Dilworth

Some good ideas, but the article lost me at “drums.”


Hi Jim,

Thank you for posting this. It does not come across in the title, but the article is a “how to” get youth to connect to the church.

Matt Marino+

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