Saturday, June 5, 2010

How the Church Fathers approached youth ministry

A great article by Mike Aquilina. An excerpt:

Scouring the Patrologia Latina and Patrologia Graeca, I found nothing to suggest that Ambrose had ever led teens on ski trips to the nearby Alps. Digging through the Eastern Fathers, I came up even drier — no junior-high dances — not even a pizza party in either Antioch or Alexandria. In fact, in all the documentary evidence from all the ancient patriarchates of the East and the West, there's not a single bulletin announcement for a single parish youth group.

Yet the Fathers had enormous success in youth and young-adult ministry. Many of the early martyrs were teens, as were many of the Christians who took to the desert for the solitary life. There's ample evidence that a disproportionate number of conversions, too, came from the young and youngish age groups.

So how did the Fathers do it? Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Jordan Henderson said...

In a related note. Why do we discourage people from marrying young today? Surely, it would decrease immorality of all sorts and that's exactly what marriage is supposed to be about, encouraging moral family relationships and discouraging immorality.

Sure, marrying young might be committing to a life of sacrifice and service, but the young are ready and actually capable of committing themselves, if given the chance.

I think it's scandalous that, in many diocese of this country, you can pretty much automatically get an annulment if you were married at less than 20 years of age, regardless of your preparation or maturity at the time of marriage.