Check this out — something good about church kids from the newspaper!
In the past several years more than a few professors . . . have noticed an occasional bright light shining out from the dull, party-going, anti-intellectual masses who stare back at them from class to class. … Young religious people have been made to think seriously and speak publicly about Big Questions from a young age. They do believe in a reality “out there” that can be studied and apprehended.
There’s more . . .
Not only does religion concentrate the mind and help young people to think about moral questions, it also leads to positive social outcomes. Religious young people are more likely to give to charity, do volunteer work and become involved with social institutions (even nonreligious ones). They are less likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs. They . . . are less likely to feel depressed or to be overweight. They are less concerned with material possessions and more likely to go to college.
And still more . . .
Religious parents often shirk their duties . . . perhaps believing the “cultural myth” that they have no influence over their children once they hit puberty. Mr. Smith [the author] has found, to the contrary, that when it comes to religious faith and practice, “who and what parents were and are” is more likely to “stick” with emerging adults than the beliefs and habits of their teenage friends.
All this, excerpted from a recent review in the Wall Street Journal of Souls in Transition, points to the things we do — both as youthworkers and as parents — as making a noticeable difference. Keep up the good work!