Exploring the reasons why more than 70 percent of teens stop going to church when they reach adulthood, this impassioned proposal outlines ways that churches can retain their youth populations by giving them opportunities to take on leadership responsibility. Difficult questions, meant to foster self-exploration and self-evaluation within the community, include Are we discriminating against youth? and Do youth feel empowered in our church? Congregations and church leaders are encouraged to take a look at the effort they make to engage teens in terms of budget, space, and programs and to implement methods for increasing this effort and increasing teen involvement. This analysis of religious communities also illustrates models of churches that are utilizing teens in leadership positions and uses these models to propose and advocate a whole new paradigm for the role of youth in the church.
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