This is a question that arrived in my in-box from a discussion forum. I’ll ascribe it to Mrs Trellis of North Wales to preserve the anonymity.
"A lot of our "youth" work seems diluted by the presence of both pre-teen children and excessive numbers of adults.
I have a growing apprehension that "Youth" is being broadened to include anyone younger than 35-40.
What do you think?"
My response so far! Please add your thoughts?
“Young people need to belong to community but also benefit from being in a peer group and having interaction with positive adult leadership. If the group is not age boundaried it will expand! It will expand from the lower age range who find the activities that they are currently linked to, too childish. It will expand at the top end as people never actually leave, the group being more ‘where they are’ than the ‘adult’ alternative.
(The effect of this widening age range that results from not having boundaries is a group that is less attractive and less attended by the age group that was originally intended ….. it becoming either a children’s group or a young adults group)
There is good evidence of society being a more teenage one in it’s attitude and outlook. The main issue though is that 20’s and 30’s (and indeed 40’s) relate far more to a youth appropriate approach and environment than they do to the inherited adult model of church etc that culturally is a million miles (intentional hyperbole) from who they are.”