All Grown Up and Nowhere to Go – Adultolescents

All Grown Up and Nowhere to Go – Ingrid Schlueter

For years I have documented the foolish, asinine, juvenile behavior going on in evangelical churches. I have gotten to the place where I cringe every time a Slice of Laodicea reader sends me yet another YouTube video of some hip new “pastor”, bristling with body piercings and covered in tattoos with the obligatory baseball cap on backwards. Mark Driscoll, pastor of the über-hip Mars Hill Church in Seattle, calls himself a “pastor-dude.” That is actually the least of Mr. Driscoll’s problems, but it demonstrates the maturity crisis in our nation that is reflected, as popular culture always is now, in evangelical churches.

A Church-Based Hope for “Adultolescents” Here are the suggested ideas for churches to deal with the adultolescents in the church. The article is much longer and worth reading especially if you work with youth or young adults.

How Should the Church Respond?

How might the church respond to this phenomenon in our culture? Here are my suggestions.

1. The church will encourage maturity, not the opposite. “Do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20).

2. The church will press the fact that maturity is not a function of being out of school but is possible to develop while in school.

3. While celebrating the call to life long singleness, the church will not encourage those who don’t have the call to wait till late in their twenties or thirties to marry, even if it means marrying while in school.

4. The church will foster flexibility in life through living by faith and resist the notion that learning to be professionally flexible must happen through a decade of experimentation.

5. The church will help parents prepare their youth for independent financial living by age 22 or sooner, where disabilities do not prevent.

6. The church will provide a stability and steadiness in life for young adults who find a significant identity there.

7. The church will provide inspiring, worldview-forming teaching week in and week out that will deepen the mature mind.

8. The church will provide a web of serious, maturing relationships.

9. The church will be a corporate communion of believers with God in his word and his ordinances that provide a regular experience of universal significance.

10. The church will be a beacon of truth that helps young adults keep their bearings in the uncertainties of cultural fog and riptides.

11. The church will regularly sound the trumpet for young adults that Christ is Lord of their lives and that they are not dependent on mom and dad for ultimate guidance.
12. The church will provide leadership and service roles that call for the responsibility of maturity in the young adults who fill them.

13. The church will continually clarify and encourage a God-centered perspective on college and grad school and career development.

14. The church will lift up the incentives and values of chaste and holy singleness, as well as faithful and holy marriage.

15. The church will relentlessly extol the maturing and strengthening effects of the only infallible life charter for young adults, the Bible.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:


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