These were thoughts I had from a Kara Powell article about “age segregation.” I can’t remember where the article is, but read on and give me your thoughts… 🙂
To answer the title of this article one has to define “segregation.” Is the era of having weekend experiences tailored for kids, youth and adults over? No. Should the era of having separate ministry opportunities be over? Yes. I like where Kara was going with her thoughts. We [church in general] are losing the younger generation in droves. To help combat this it’s important that churches become intergenerational. A mid-week youth service is fine, but statistics prove that if they are not involved in the church as a whole (aka: weekend experiences) we will lose 50-60% of them.
Becoming intergenerational means young people serving as worshipers, ushers, greeters, children’s workers, etc. And, not just on “youth weekend” but every weekend. The church is separating kids from adults much like at Thanksgiving time there is an adult table and a separate kid table. Though we are all eating the same meal the conversation is different. These kids and teenagers have no idea what the adult conversation is. After youth group they fall away because there is no connection between themselves and the church. They’ve graduated youth group and as ministers we assume that they know they should go to “big” church when in fact having a children/student/youth pastor who believes in the overall vision of the church is not enough—there has to be integration.