Let’s delve into one of the longest chapters of the Holy Father’s Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation (which can be found on this link at the Vatican site).
204. The young make us see the need for new styles and new strategies. For example, while adults often worry about having everything properly planned, with regular meetings and fixed times, most young people today have little interest in this kind of pastoral approach.
I don’t think this is an iron-clad tendency. Some young people are indeed rigid. Some young people might be surprised at the flexibility of their elders. But on the whole, this is a valid insight from the pope:
Youth ministry needs to become more flexible: inviting young people to events or occasions that provide an opportunity not only for learning, but also for conversing, celebrating, singing, listening to real stories and experiencing a shared encounter with the living God.
A Pauline principle: test everything. Retain what is good and what has worked:
205. At the same time, we should take into greater consideration those practices that have shown their value – the methods, language and aims that have proved truly effective in bringing young people to Christ and the Church. It does not matter where they are coming from or what labels they have received, whether “conservative” or “liberal”, “traditional” or “progressive”. What is important is that we make use of everything that has borne good fruit and effectively communicates the joy of the Gospel.
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