Toward a (More) Fully Integrated Youth Ministry Presented by: Richard L. Neil, M.D.
Have You Gone Far Enough?
Mission Statement A Mission Statement defines the organization's purpose and primary objectives. Its prime function is internal – to define the key measure or measures of the organization’s success – and its prime audience is the leadership team and stockholders
Current Mission StatementIntegrated Youth Ministries The Integrated Youth Ministries Department facilitates a climate of grace, spiritually nurturing children as they grow from infancy into young adults who are mature, committed disciples of Jesus grounded in the local church and ready for leadership.
Vision Statement Vision Statements also define the organizations purpose, but this time they do so in terms of the organization’s values rather than bottom line measures (values are guiding beliefs about how things should be done.) The vision statement communicates both the purpose and values of the organization.
Current Vision StatementIntegrated Youth Ministries The Integrated Youth Ministries Department is an integral part of the evangelistic thrust of the Florida Conference, where children are cultivated into active, contributing life-long members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, rooted in God’s love and engaged in lives of service and leadership.
Integrated Youth MinistriesFunction and Evaluation • Do you have a goal and/or function that does not exist elsewhere in the church? • Can you successfully operate independently of other organizations? • How do you determine your success? • How often are you evaluated and by whom? • What is your “reputation” in the church?
Neuronal Population At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are stars in the Milky Way. (Cooperative Extension Publications, bulletin #4356)
Neuronal Growth • One neuron can connect with 15,000 other neurons. • In the first 3 months of life, the synapses multiply more than 20 times.
Neuronal Growth The development of synapses occurs at an astounding rate during children's early years, in response to the young child's experiences. At its peak, the cerebral cortex of a healthy toddler may create 2 million synapses per second.(US HHS-ZERO TO THREE, 2009)
Neuronal Growth At 3 months, the baby has more than 1,000 trillion synapses
Neuronal Growth • By the time children are 3, their brains have • approximately 1,000 trillion synapses, many more • than they will ever need. Some of these synapses • are strengthened and remain intact, but many • are discarded. By the time children have reached • adolescence, about half of their synapses have • been discarded, leaving about 500 trillion, the • number they will have for most of the rest of their lives. • Child Welfare Information Gateway, • a service of the Children's Bureau, • Administration for Children and Families, • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Brain Development "We have always suspected that there may be a difference in the ways children learn at different ages, but until we did this study we didn't know for sure that those differences reflected development of synapses," Peter Huttenlocher and Arun Dabholkar, "Regional Differences in Synaptogenesis in Human Cerebral Cortex," Journal of Comparative Neurology.
Neuronal Growth The production of synapses in the brain is strongly linked to the ability to learn. The later the production of synapses peaks in a particular portion of the brain, the more the learning related to that portion is influenced by such environmental factors as teaching and parental nurturing. Peter Huttenlocher and Arun Dabholkar, "Regional Differences in Synaptogenesis in Human Cerebral Cortex," Journal of Comparative Neurology.
Brain Development Because the middle frontal gyrus is the last of the three portions to develop, tasks that require higher-order thinking skills as well as those dependent on motivation are difficult to perform until a child reaches adolescence. Huttenlocher
Brain Development "We also need to realize that because the portion of the brain controlling motivation develops last, we shouldn't be surprised if high school students have trouble making decisions about their life's work. It may very well be that their brains need to develop further, that their brains simply aren't prepared to make such decisions until early adulthood.“ Huttenlocher
Brain Development A National Institutes of Health study suggests that the region of the brain that inhibits risky behavior is not fully formed until age 25, a finding with implications for a host of policies, including the nation's driving laws.
1. Talking 2. Chewing Gum 3. Making Noise 4. Running in Halls 5. Getting Out of Turn in Halls 6. Wearing Improper Clothing 7. Not Putting Paper in Wastebaskets Top Seven School (?) Discipline Problems 1940s, 1980s and 2000s 1940s Time Magazine, February 1, 1988
1. Drug Abuse 2. Alcohol Abuse 3. Pregnancy 4. Suicide 5. Rape 6. Robbery 7. Assault Top Seven School (?) Discipline Problems 1940s, 1980s and 2000s 1980s Time Magazine, February 1, 1988
What kind of world are we and our children facing now? • In a nationwide survey, 17% of students reported carrying a weapon on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey. • Nationwide 33% of students reported being in a physical fight one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey • Among 8th and 9th grade students 25% had been victims of nonsexual dating violence. • Eight percent of 8th and 9th grade students reported being victims of sexual dating violence. CDC-Nat’l Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Top Seven School (?) Discipline Problems 1940s, 1980s and 2000s • 1. Bullying • 2. Acts of disrespect for teachers • 3. Verbal abuse of teachers • 4. Sexual harassment of other students • 5. Student racial/ethnic tensions • 6. Widespread disorder in classrooms • 7. Gang activities Nat’l Center for Education Stats Dec 2007 2005
Exposure to violence and family conflict. Lack of involvement in the child’s life. Low emotional attachment to parents. Parental substance abuse. Poor monitoring and supervision of children. Association with delinquent peers. Involvement in gangs. Social rejection by peers. Low commitment to school (church?) and school failure. Lack of involvement in conventional activities. Family and School Risk Factors For Behavior Problems (Including Violence) Adapted From: CDC-Nat’l Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Adolescent Development • The growth of the young is not done in discrete segments but is rather a continuum. • How do you determine that a person has completed the transition from adolescent to adult? • What is an adult?
Adolescent Development We tend to think of adolescence as the teenage years, but child development experts mark the beginning, on average, at about age 10, at least two years earlier than half a century ago.
Early Adolescence (10-13) • Concrete Operations - The child can deal with properties of the immediately present world in solving new problems. • Decisions are made based on the influence of others.
Middle Adolescence (14-16) • Formal decision processes beginning-not yet refined, but starting to develop. • Learning to deal with problems looking at all possible combinations of factors.
Middle Adolescence • Often the greatest experimental, risk-taking time. • Drinking, drugs, smoking, and sexual experimentation are often of the highest interest to those between 12 and 16 years.
Middle Adolescence • During middle adolescence, most youngsters begin to disengage from idealized conceptualizations of their parents as all-knowing and all-powerful • Middle adolescence is when the young people start to identify that they have some differences than their parents
Late Adolescence(17-19) • The big question: “Who am I as an independent individual?” • Becoming comfortable with abstract thinking. • Exploration of career choices becomes important. A choice of vocation reinforces independence and self-concept.
Later Adolescence • New findings show that the greatest changes to the parts of the brain that are responsible for functions such as self-control, judgment, emotions, and organization occur between puberty and adulthood. This may help to explain certain teenage behavior that adults can find mystifying, such as poor decision-making, recklessness, and emotional outbursts. • The brain is still developing during the teen years Dr. Jay Giedd of the NIMH.
Adolescent Behavior The single most important task of adolesence is developing an adult persona.(Dr. Basil Jackson) • This frequently explains their actions which seem to defy logic. • To ignore or forget this places your “respect quotient” at peril.
Adolescent Behavior • Adolescents seek comfort from those who welcome them and who reinforce their sense of belonging, so… • Some youth may turn to deviant subcultures (cults or gangs) in order to satisfy their need for • approval • belonging • self-worth
Adolescent Development • The adolescent experience is one of great change. Adolescence it a time of turmoil, searching and testing. • It is a period of rapid psychosocial and biologic physiologic growth. • Many teens have great difficulty coping with the process of change. • Societal forces that produce alienation are growing in strength and scope.
Adolescent Behavior • Social theory postulates that if adolescents feel alienated and unattached, they may not internalize basic societal norms and may resort to deviance and nonconformity
Research Says Because children's biological and social development rates are so variable, [some researchers] suggest that perhaps the easiest way to tell if a particular child has reached adolescence is to notice whether he or she has developed a passion for popular music.
Research Says Many scholars have viewed television as the central media influence on adolescents, Christenson said, but adolescents devote more time and intensity to music. Professor Donald Roberts, Stanford U, • Professor Peter Christenson, Lewis and Clark College,
Research Says "Music alters and intensifies their moods, furnishes much of their slang, dominates their conversations and provides the ambiance at their social gatherings. Music styles define the crowds and cliques they run in. Music personalities provide models for how they act and dress." Professor Donald Roberts, Stanford U, • Professor Peter Christenson, Lewis and Clark College,
Research Says • Music videos are a "powerful new force" in adolescent culture but they don't seem to hold adolescents' interest nearly as long as the music itself. It is the youngest adolescents who watch MTV and other music videos the most, but older adolescents devote more total time to music. Professor Donald Roberts, Stanford U, • Professor Peter Christenson, Lewis and Clark College,
Research Says In another study, adolescents interpreted both regular heavy metal and Christian heavy metal music as about sex and violence. It appears that the sound of heavy metal has a general reputation for sex and violence, Roberts said, and the youth listening to Christian rock didn't really hear the different message of the lyrics.Professor Donald Roberts, Stanford U, • Professor Peter Christenson, Lewis and Clark College,
Research Says On average, American youth listen to music and watch music videos four to five hours a day, which is more time than they spend with their friends outside of school or watching television. "Music matters to adolescents, and they cannot be understood without a serious consideration of how it fits into their lives," the authors say. Professor Donald Roberts, Stanford U, • Professor Peter Christenson, Lewis and Clark College,
SDA Academy Survey • Researcher—Gary Hopkins, MD, DrPH. • Research conducted in 1996. • Sixty-nine out of 93 SDA academies responded(+). • Total of 1,7648 students. • Ninety-three percent of students were SDA. • Parental consent required.