Shane Lens made an interesting comment a few months ago on Michael Horton’s book The Gospel Driven Life. I think he’s right about the impact of segregating groups in the church, especially young people. If that segregation comes to take on a parallel life to fellowship with the whole body then it is certainly detrimental to the health of the whole. So many younger people now do not have meaningful relationships with older saints from whom they can learn so much.
I grew up in a church where there was an active work among the young people, but it never replaced fellowship with the whole body. And I also enjoyed meaningful relationships with all ages within the fellowship. Perhaps times have changed a great deal now that it may not be possible to pursue youth work in this way. Yet I wonder if it cannot be possible. The main obstacle is certainly the faulty notion that the world’s flawed view of how young people ought to be catered for in their supposed development is how the church ought to cater for their youth. We now have the same immaturity among young Christian adults that we see in the world at large. Is it just possible that there is a connection? It’s time to liberate the church from this developmental apartheid for the sake of the unity of the Body. Maybe in the early years of the twenty-first century worshipping with the church of all ages can really involve a church of all ages.