i wrote a web article for the immerse journal blog back in july. then i forgot about it. so it was a nice surprise to see it show up there today! and, the funny timing is: i wrote this before we’d decided to do the extended adolescence symposium. it’s proof i’ve been stewing on this for a while!
here’s a selection from the article:
I was on the phone with a well-known author the other day, talking about extended adolescence. He was asking me questions—in a healthy, skeptical way—about my slowly evolving contention that while we need to acknowledge cultural realities and do ministry in their context, the juggernaut of extended adolescence is something we can and should undermine, at least in our own homes and churches.
After almost 30 minutes of conversation, we arrived at a key crossroads. He made a statement I find to be indicative of the majority opinion of American adults: “It seems to me that the problem you’re referring to comes down to the self-centeredness of young adults today. They’re extremely selfish and have no interest in taking responsibility or becoming adults.”
I paused and took a breath. Then I responded (trying to use “yes, and” language rather than “you’re wrong” language), “Yes, I can totally see why you would say that. Today’s young adults do tend to have a level of narcissism that wasn’t as dominantly present 20 years ago. But that begs the question of why. I suggest they’re narcissistic because they’ve spent their entire lives in families and classrooms and churches and marketing messages that consistently tell them, that everything is all about them. To blame young adults for being narcissistic is like blaming an attack dog for biting. We have isolated teenagers, and now young adults, and then told them their culture is better than ours. Why would they ever want to grow out of that stage of life? How could they?”
click through to read the rest. there’s some good stuff in the comments section, btw.
click here to check out the info on the extended adolescence symposium.