Pentecostals keeping their youth?


This article from the NYTimes shows how Pentecostals are attracting youth.

What really bothered me was the following paragraph:

“The Loras went to Sunday Mass, but weekends were better known for family parties filled with music and liquor. Nobody blinked when the boys tipped a few beers.”

Unfortunately, that is not true just of the Loras. My child’s high school is filled with Catholic kids whose families treat liquor the same way. Drinking among the Catholic youth in our area is an epidemic. The result has been quite a few dead youth in cars.

And of course it isn’t just limited to Catholics. There are Protestants and Mormons doing the same thing, but they are often influenced by the Catholic youth who are the majority.

Anyway, the whole article is interesting. What kind of things are we seeing Catholic parishes do to train the youth?



I thought that was a great article. I skimmed it so I didnt see what you pointed out but ,maybe they mentioned catholics just because the majority of teens there go to a CC. In the midwest it would be primarily protestants. Im sure it may just be because the CC is in the majority.

I personally think all teens drink and do stupid things. It is the responsability of the church and parents to give these kids alternatives. I know my church teaches about all the pressures teen face and they have youth group and go on trips etc. My teenage daughter is very involved and does bring friends who go to other churches. They keep coming because they have fun and they are learning how to cope with the pressures this world offers.

Now I havent a clue what the CC does with their youth after confirmation. Im sure some parishes have youth groups and some may not. Some just may be better at it then others.
Ill have to take catholics word for it.:thumbsup:


well I am in charge in my parish of “training the youth” in the sense of supervising CCD and Confirmation preparation, but I fail to see how that is going to address the problem of what goes on in families, or why the parish is to blame if the parents fall down on the job. The families have had ample opportunity all through their child’s growing years to avail themselvse of the teaching and moral practice of the Church. If they choose to ignore it, how is that our fault?

I had to “fire” two sets of parents in the last 2 yrs from any involvement in youth activities in the parish because they hosted parties in their home for HS teens (not parish-sponsored events) where alcohol was available. These parents are all public school employees, by the way.


I was a member of a United Pentecostal Church for awhile, and remember many of the young people there. And when I say young people, I mean younger than me, I was only 27 years old at the time!! What struck me was the rather sceptical attitudes the kids had towards the religion. Their parents and grandparents were true holy rollers, but the kids mostly just sat with their arms folded while the adults were waiving and jumping. One night my wife, who was seven months pregnant, had a particularly emotional experience, and was doing a lot of animated stuff. One of the kids came up and asked me if I wasn’t worried that she might hurt the baby. Me, I wasn’t the least worried, as I was quite convinced that God was protecting that baby, and frankly I was surprised that the kids didn’t feel the same way.

Anyways, I don’t see anything surprising about the fact that children go ways different from their parents. That is an age-old story that gets repeated over and over again.


Right now, I am just commenting on your own words but I will read the article itself and comment on that also.

I grew up in NC which has many more Baptists then Catholics and drinking alcohol, smoking pot and having premarital sex was very, very common. I, also knew Pentecostal children who snuck around and did this.


I would quibble with the idea of liquor=bad and non-Christian. Alcohol is a gift from heaven, were we to have no wine we could have no Eucharist (even when its only offered under one Species, the wine is still part of the process). It harms no one for a 15 year old to have a glass of wine or a beer with dinner, unless he 1. overdrinks and then drives or 2. leaves his home and becomes a public nuisance. As long as the minor has parental consent and it is the parent that is serving him and supervising him, I don’t see a problem.


What garbage!The pentecostal church I attend is full of great things for young people to do.We have the motto,‘church shouldn’t be boring’.if church to a first time goer is drab and boring why would you even go a second time.Todays youth are in so much need than ever before.A ‘family’ is not what it use to be and so we have very lost young people.The world is not getting easier for them(nor anybody) so if it takes adding some fun events and programs that they can be a part of let’s do it.Every parent knows how bored kids get these days.Be inventive and creative is not what it use to be.I know of a protestant church in Kiev that has only been around for 5 years and already has 20,000 people attending.Of that number,more than 80% are under 20.I’m sorry but if your church has nothing for youths,the numbers in attendance will eep falling.Protestant churches have made alot of changes over the years; not to our christian beliefs but instead how we present the gospel.I don’t believe God wants us to be dull and boring.I know of dull and boring churches and the youth are hardely present.I know catholics will disagree with me but before you do,ask your youths what they think.I’m not trying to slander the catholic church but I don’t see their youth numbers growing.The youth are the future.



I totally agree:thumbsup: My kids complain to me all the time about service but they do like youth group and the other activities our church offers the youth because they make it fun. For example, our youth group is going on a fast food frenzy tonight. I personally think it is disgusting but Im not a teenager anymore. It is a contest of sorts and they get to eat while answering questions. That type of activity will draw kids in and then they get to hear the gospel message and kids will equate church and fun in the same sentence:eek: Imagine that!! The best part is that kids from the church will bring friends:thumbsup: So, it is not only fun but it is an outreach to the community.:thumbsup:


I think it is fine to be creative, and find ways to involve young people in parish activities that are oriented to them in particular. However, as one who, as a young man, spent a few years floundering about some of these “exciting” and “amazing” sects, I have to report that the effort to find excitement in worship through pumped-up, shouting, rolling about, slobbering (yes, I’ve seen a lot of slobbering), public tongues, etc, work in the short term, but are counterproductive in the longterm. These holyroller manifestations are mostly put-on. People have to get “worked up” in order to achieve that state of worship. I’m not saying that this type of worship isn’t sometimes called for, and certainly should never be forbidden in all settings. But there is nothing “boring” about the Mass.

Children are easily bored. They will grow out of it. We believe that, when we practice the ancient faith according to that which was handed down to us from the Apostles, that God will do a work in our children and ultimately draw them into the excitement of the Mass. Let them be bored for awhile. Churches that go too far in trying to make church “exciting” and “amazing” are not doing their children any favors, IMO.


learning is a direct result of experience. People, youngsters included do not learn from hearing and reading but from experiencing.

When we as adult faithful provide the experience of Gods mercy and Love for our youth they will believe and be faithful. When they do get tempted to run with the rough crowd and see the depravity and lack of love there they will run back to the environment of the church where love and forgiveness abound.



Children are easily bored. They will grow out of it.

Children grow out of bordom?really?It says in the Bible to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.Even non-christians believe that you should teach children when they’re young.Same goes for if you don’t discipline a child when he is young he’ll grow up spoiled and disrespectful.
If you teach a child that church is boring I do not believe for a second that they will grow out of it!They will simply grow in to bored adults.


JWilson, you must not have children yet. I’ve helped raise four, and have grandchildren now. Children ususally get bored doing things that adults find exciting. Anyone who has raised children knows this full well.

As for the scripture to which you refer, yes, train up the children in the way that they should go AND WHEN HE IS OLD he will not depart from it. The clear inference, at least as far as I am concerned, is that there likely will be a spell of time in which the child will, indeed, depart from it. This is another thing that parents find out about their children: They rebel. Whatever things the parents teach, the children will rebel against that in some measure. It is the relaxed and aware parent that realizes this, allows the child some breathing room to move about and find out who and what he/she is, and believe, and pray, that WHEN HE IS OLD(er) he will come home.


At 14, he was arrested and handcuffed to a pole at the local station house for stealing Pokémon cards from a Barnes & Noble.

Yes, it is “Pokémon” not “Pokemon”!!! :slight_smile:


AW-I do have a 3 yr old son and have found out already that he can rebel. I don’t disagree with you there.The degree at which they rebel in there teen years can be influenced by poor parenting.I can imagine when your kids were small it was difficult to give them all the exact same attention even though I’m sure you loved them all equally.
My point is that if you teach a child at a young age that church is boring do you really believe that will change when they reach teenage years and adulthood?I know many adults who today will not step into a church because they think it’s dull and boring from a childhood experience they had.I agree that for some this attitude changes but I disagree that it has to be this way for kids.that sounds very unfair if you tell them that’s the way it is suppose to be and when you get older you’ll appreciate it.My 3 yr old loves church and praising God.Iknow from other parents that their kids love it as well.I totally disagree that church is boring to kids and that one day they’ll grow out of it.If you did train up a child in the way he should go you would avoid so many difficulties.I choose to raise mine to love God and put his trust in Jesus even starting at 3 yrs old.That is my responsibility as a father and was yours as well.That’s not what I say,it’s what the Bible says.God Bless


To me this sounds like nothing more than a veiled slap against the Church. Pentecostalism is more exciting the Church is boring. He had to leave the Church because it wasn’t doing anything for him. :frowning: I wonder if the Jewish teens at the time Christ thought worshiping in the Synagogue was boring? I’ll bet those that were not properly taught did.

Did he ever talk to a priest? How often did he receive the sacraments? How well was he catechized? How well did his parents live their faith at home? I really wonder how well this boy was taught the faith.

I’m a cradle Catholic but I was not raised Catholic. I had no catechizing beyond first Communion. There was no prayers said at home or anything remotely to do with the faith. As a teen I was wild. I really wonder how much of a difference it would have made if my faith had actually been lived at home, instead of just showing up for Mass to “do our deed”.

I’m glad he is finally on fire for the Lord now let’s take it a step further and bring it on home! :thumbsup:


Who said anything about me not “raising up a child in the way that he should go??” We Catholics do raise our children up to love and worship God. Our styles are different, yours and ours. I spent enough time around pentecostals and even some Catholic charismatics, to know that they depend overly upon emotionalism as it might be externally expressed through shouting, dancing, and whatnot. This is the idea of worship “excitement.” Frankly, I find an awful lot of that (not all of it by any means, but an awful lot of it) to be for-show, put-on, manufactured enthusiasm. After some years I found vastly more worship quality in quiet contemplation, the Rosary, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Mass. We Catholics DO teach our children these things. They may not seem very exciting to pentecostals, many of whom prefer “amazing” and “fantastic” worship manifestations, but they are deeply moving, and they are the ancient worship that has been handed down to us by Christians who’ve lived and worshipped for 2k years plus.

In my parish, young people are engaged in the life of the Church. We have a very conservative, down-to-earth pastor. The young people, yes even teenagers, are happy, connected, and THERE. I just don’t know where you pentecostals get that Catholic worship is boring. There is nothing more exciting than the Mass, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist. We don’t have to have fireworks above the altar to add to its effect on our minds and souls.

BTW, God bless you for your fervent faith. The pentecostals I’ve known are deep-faith, deep-heart people, and I love them. But pentecostalism, Protestantism, just isn’t for me. I prefer to go to the source, which is the Church that Jesus established upon the Apostles. Nothin’, and I mean NOTHIN’, more exciting that THAT.

And God bless you and your child, and future children. They are in good hands. Trust them over to God, and keep praying for them. In the years ahead they will often make choices that will cause you grief and worry, and make you wonder what you did wrong. Never forget that they have their own freedom to choose, and they certainly WILL choose, often in rebellion against you and your lifestyle.

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