Guest / Limited Access /

Raise Expectations

Greg Stier is founder and president of Dare 2 Share Ministries and author of Firing Jesus.

If we're honest, when most of us see those young, clean-cut Mormon missionaries knocking on doors, we quickly assume that the hip, relevant, "just show up" youth ministry strategies in our Protestant circles are vastly superior.

But are they? Mormons expect a lot from their teenagers: They ordain their young men into the ministry at age 12, expect their young people to attend seminary every day of high school, and ask them to serve in the field upwards of two years. Needless to say, we don't.

Mormonism pushes its kids harder and takes them farther than even the most ardent Protestant youth ministry. Can you imagine a youth group that challenged each of its teenagers to meet at 6 a.m. every day of the school year to learn about Christianity? That's exactly what Mormons do with their high-school students. We get excited if our teens gather around a pole at 7:15 a.m. to pray once a year.

When typical Christians graduate from high school, they grab their books and go off to a college dorm. When typical Mormons graduate from high school, they grab a bike pump and go on mission.

Those high expectations pay off. Young Mormons know what they believe and why they believe it. They've hammered out their theology on evangelical doorsteps. Their hearts and minds have been steeled and sealed into Mormon orthodoxy through their intense commitment.

Maybe that's why Mormons give more and work harder than their Christian peers. Maybe that's why the religion is expanding while a majority of former Christian youth-group attendees are fleeing the church.

Don't get me wrong. I don't ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Subscriber Access Only
How Missionaries Are Changing Medicine
Why we'll see more impressive discoveries in the field.
RecommendedAccused MK Counterfeiter Asks To Be Released to YWAM
Accused MK Counterfeiter Asks To Be Released to YWAM
Son of Uganda missionaries allegedly smuggled $400,000 into US inside child sponsorship pamphlets.
TrendingCover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'--or dangerous?
Editor's PickWhen It Comes to the Next President, We Need More Than Strength
When It Comes to the Next President, We Need More Than Strength
From Trump to Clinton, would-be leaders promise authority without vulnerability.
Christianity Today
What Can Christians Learn From the Surge in Mormon Youth ...
hide thisMay May

In the Magazine

May 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.