“The Pressing Educational Need of the Moment”

In my teaching and pastoral ministry to Emerging Adults (that’s the name for the 18-25 year-old crowd), and especially the males, I have been frustrated by the absence of drive, vision and dreams. I’ve looked many a young man in the eye to find that there was simply no object or cause that had captivated their heart and mind. The consequence is predictable: they are caught in the “in-between” and drift. They hang out, work entry-level jobs and struggle to be consistent in college or university. They take classes one semester and decide in the next that they will take the semester off or perhaps not go back. They haven’t been captivated enough by any one thing, so they drift.

Recently I was reading C. S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man and came across a passage that is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it some 5 decades ago. In discussing the author’s of the  “Green Book”, Lewis states:

They see the world around them swayed by the emotional propaganda of the moment. They have learned form tradition that youth is sentimental; and they conclude that the best thing they can do is to fortify the mind’s of young people against emotion. My own experience as a teacher tells an opposite tale. For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess excess of sensibility, there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity.

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.

  • Jim

    I am sure your new location is beneficial to you. Since the move, your posts have been “teasers”, requiring one to click through from the aggregate reader to the site in order to read the whole post. This is inconvenient and irritating, especially since most posts are only about twice as long as the teaser on the feed reader. I liked the old way with the entire article on the feed reader. Thanks for listening.

  • Jim

    I am sure your new location is beneficial to you. Since the move, your posts have been “teasers”, requiring one to click through from the aggregate reader to the site in order to read the whole post. This is inconvenient and irritating, especially since most posts are only about twice as long as the teaser on the feed reader. I liked the old way with the entire article on the feed reader. Thanks for listening.

  • Jason B. Hood

    Joel, spot on mate (as Mike would say). I minister in this age bracket and I’d say you’re dead on. I’d also say it applies to 50-70 year old men as well (another group I spend time with).

    Huge, vibrant, imagination-stoking themes (gospel, kingdom, etc) are helpful here…and Jesus, Paul and the rest trade in those…

  • Jason B. Hood

    Joel, spot on mate (as Mike would say). I minister in this age bracket and I’d say you’re dead on. I’d also say it applies to 50-70 year old men as well (another group I spend time with).

    Huge, vibrant, imagination-stoking themes (gospel, kingdom, etc) are helpful here…and Jesus, Paul and the rest trade in those…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=567755022 Bryan T Weiss

    Riddle me this Batman, what is the motivation of a man who has no sense of “calling” on his life? Does he simply squirm into any church related opportunity like an ugly girl at a dance leaping from her folding chair when the smelly kid offers her the Macarena? Or is there some way for these men to discover what their calling is, aside from another useless trip through the “Spiritual gifts” online tests. Vocationally or missionally, how does one KNOW where his passion belongs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=567755022 Bryan T Weiss

    Riddle me this Batman, what is the motivation of a man who has no sense of “calling” on his life? Does he simply squirm into any church related opportunity like an ugly girl at a dance leaping from her folding chair when the smelly kid offers her the Macarena? Or is there some way for these men to discover what their calling is, aside from another useless trip through the “Spiritual gifts” online tests. Vocationally or missionally, how does one KNOW where his passion belongs?

  • Jonathan

    You’re worth the click to me, my friends. :)
    Great post, Joel. I agree whole heartidly.

  • Jonathan

    You’re worth the click to me, my friends. :)
    Great post, Joel. I agree whole heartidly.


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