The Most Critical Stage in Life: Adolescence

Many of you may have heard that the youth group is going to implement house churches. We decided to do that because we’ve begun to see adolescence from a different perspective. We used to think of adolescents as “grown children” but we’ve decided that we should really consider them “emerging adults.” This change in perspective requires a change in how we minister to them.

Adolescence is a stage where young people find their identities and become independent. Parents get upset when their teenage children criticize their parents’ ideas and lifestyles, but they must understand that it’s their way of finding their own identities.

If we can teach them right values and behaviors while they’re in this transitory stage and their character is not yet set, they will live healthy and successful lives when they grow up.

Many years ago during a Presidential campaign season, I read an article in Time magazine that said we could quite accurately predict what kind of president different candidates would make by looking at their high school yearbooks, because people’s character is mostly formed during their adolescent years.

One survey I read some time ago showed that the majority of well-known pastors in the U.S. made their commitments to become pastors when they were 17 years old. This also shows that the adolescent years are critical in determining what kind of people they will become. If they develop destructive lifestyles during their adolescent years, they will be destructive for the rest of their lives; if they develop constructive lifestyles, they will live happy lives in the future.

If we want our children to live healthy, meaningful lives, it’s best to help them become disciples of Jesus. And the house church is the best way to achieve that goal.

This is the rationale behind implementing the house church in our youth group. We will treat them like adults, even though they’re still in an emerging stage, and organize and run their house churches just like adults’. Students will be shepherds and the house churches will be formed according to students’ choices. By respecting their choice, we will help them become responsible people and leaders.

The ministry staff is currently trying to find the best way to accomplish this. We have to figure out how to incorporate the 3 Axes of the house church, house church meetings, the Living Life Bible studies, and Sunday worship. There are other issues to be resolved such as when and where to meet.

When we have a clearer plan, we will present it to the parents of the youth for feedback. The ultimate decisions will be made by parents. I ask for your prayers over our staff members for wisdom, especially Pastor Oh, who is in charge of the project.

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