The tongue in cheek joke we used to have in youth ministry was that it’s a complex mathematical formula to try to estimate the exact point in which two moving targets will intersect! That’s exactly what you feel like many times as the average Youth Pastor in today’s churches as he or she tries keep up with the very busy schedules of today’s teens.
How many hours do you actually have to minister to the teens in your church if they are regular attendees? They are there most often for the midweek youth group, which gives you about an hour and a half. If they come on Sundays they are there for a couple more hours but quite frankly there is not much time for you to interact with them during these service.
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, the average adolescent in America sleeps 8.6 hours a day. They are involved with school and homework 6.8 hours. Media and Communication take up 2.3 hours daily, although other studies greatly expand that number. Teen’s leisure time is about 1.4 hours and they spend 1.0 hours eating and drinking. Playing sports consumes 0.7 hours. Grooming will keep them in front of a mirror for 0.9 hours. Religious activities take up a whopping 0.1hour a day with volunteering 0.5 hours. Other categories account for the other 1.7 hours every day.
Can we see why reaching them and spending quality time with them can be such a challenge?
We should also talk about our competition with technology. I can remember my earliest realization of this challenge when I was working in the public schools.
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