Apparently, from the link (h/t Peter Ong), it can at least cause depression among our youth. That alone is a terrifying thought.
Is the segregation of adult worship services and youth worship services really conducive to understanding what worship is? Is the presentation / proclamation of the gospel necessarily different based on age?
Asian American churches seem to really make sure this division is in place, no matter how small the congregation is. In fact, most Asian American churches spread out according to the cultural narrative: men congregate with men; women gravitate towards one another; and children find each other. At the very least, adults separate from children. They reconvene when it’s time to go home.
I understand the problems. There are language issues and culture issues, but is it fair to say the hierarchy being lived out under the roof of the church has caused the disenchantment of the youth to the point that when kids become adults, they see no reason to go back under that roof?
I see this as a convenience and comfort issue. But the costs are pretty huge. Ethnic identity requires a sense of history. Language is verbalized culture, and we lose access to our own tongues with every passing season we spend in separate congregations. And this sense of separation means that we are more estranged to a key source of the combination of ethnic and spiritual formation, our parents. And this has the dual result of making our parents’ churches ignorant of issues that would a real and relevant edge to our faith, and again culturally orphaning the next generation. This split does more to explain the silent exodus than anything else, so the question remains, why do we continue to do this?