Republicans at Prayer in Madison Square Garden

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 1 September 2004 0 Comments
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As a Sunday School teacher of the teenage group and a parent of two teens, what resources are there for this age group? Most of what I've seen in written form is from a literal perspective. It doesn't seem like there's much geared for them, or else I just haven't stumbled upon it yet. Do you have any suggestions?


Relevant material that opens Christianity to new possibilities for teenagers is scarce indeed. Why don't you try to write some? It is a crying need in the Church. There are outstanding youth leaders in churches across this land. By and large, they create their own material in dialogue with the young people they serve. My experience with teenagers leads me to suggest that their agenda and the traditional church's agenda are not even in dialogue with each other. To do effective youth work, the first prerequisite is to build a sense of community and trust that is so deep that the real and honest concerns of the teenagers can be articulated. I have known two clergy who did this well and both had terrific youth programs. One is Gordon Tremaine in Gainesville, Florida, and the other is Geoffrey Curtiss in Jersey City, New Jersey. If youth leaders from around the Christian world would get together and produce material or even procedures, it would be helpful. Good luck!

-- John Shelby Spong




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