Churches could win back teens like me if they were more welcoming and less judgmental

Empty church

These ideas would also hold true for mosques and synagogues

Source: USA Today

By Stacia Datskovska

Church should offer more open-ended resources such as meditation, discussion groups and even nature walks. Let teens come to God in their own way.

When I entered the musty church hall for Easter Mass and dipped my fingers in holy water, I noticed an approaching woman boasting a self-important demeanor. She promptly came up to my mom and started to shame her for wearing pants, gesturing aggressively to her own ankle-length skirt and Soviet-era headscarf. “This is God’s house,” she said, as though it were an engrossing new revelation.

I suddenly understood why so many of my friends were making promises to leave their respective denominations. Like I did that day at church, they likely felt alienated from attending a service that is supposed to instill hope.

From the standpoint of teens like me, many Christian denominations are too deeply rooted in tradition. Whatever this “tradition” comes dressed as, we find it a turnoff. Because of this, church should offer more open-ended resources to teens — such as meditation, discussion groups and even nature walks. In other words, the Christian church experience needs to start transcending the traditional and adapting to the times. Only then can teens start finding meaning in church beyond traditional mass, and realizing they can come to God in their own way without indoctrination or an intermediary.

Read further

Aside

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Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

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 Recommended by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

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