What does extended adolescence mean for youth ministry?

I’m intrigued by the fact that some people my age are still living at home with their parents while others are married, home owners, and have kids. Why do some of us transition into that life-stage quicker than others?

There’s a lot of research surrounding this idea of “extended adolescence.” It used to be that adolescence spanned a relatively brief time period, but now we see it starting as early as 10 years old and lasting into the late 20s and even early 30s.

Unfortunately, both the research and the implications of this phenomenon are inconclusive. Still, some churches are forming ministries to cater to the upper-end of the adolescence spectrum while others are fighting against it.

When I saw that The Youth Cartel (Marko and Adam McLane) are putting together an event that will host three experts who hold different views on this subject, I was very intrigued. Something like this could be very beneficial to the church body in starting a discussion that needs to move to a wider scale than academic circles. This is a critical issue that will impact our ministries, families, and how we minister to adolescents.

Watch Marko’s video below sharing more about this subject and how they want to start adressing it. Then head over to their Kick Starter page and help support it if you can.

Posted on August 29, 2011

  • I highly recommend, "The Slow Fade." It discusses how we need to push the finish line beyond high school graduation.

    Link to book –…

    I wrote a short blog post on one of the authors' workshops I attended at Orange 2010, where I also talk a bit about the book.

    Link to blog post –

  • Just going through my RSS and saw this. Dude, thanks! We're about 40% there. We need help though. If we can't get to $6k by 9/17 we won't be able to pull the event off.

    What's really cool IMO is that these are two academic leaders on opposite sides of the discussion who have never presented at the same time. It'll be an amazing point / counter-point thing. And we really think Kara Powell can help translate this for youth workers really well.

    If folks just want to get the ebook, that's included for anything over $10.

    • No problem. This whole thing sounds so fascinating! I can't wait to watch it! (Will it be on video?) Will the ebook be available later even if they can't contribute to Kick Start now?

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