Oestreicher was candid about the challenge youth workers are facing today. They used to think that just packing a concert hall and getting kids jazzed for Jesus would keep them close to the church. Now, recent studies say that approach may have fallen short. 61% of 20-year-olds say while they did attend church activities in their teens they no longer do. Pastors, Oestreicher says, have to do a better job at forging relationships with teenagers. How should they go about it? By plugging into a teen's very wired world.
At the convention, we learned about "Godcasting", which is really podcasting for the faithful. Young people love this because they can download sermons or praise music onto their iPods and take it with them while they skate, surf or ski. James Dobson, the well known head of Focus on the Familyhas had his own radio show for years. But in a telling illustration of this new technology-oriented youth movement, his son, Ryan, says he wouldn't think of doing anything that old school. Instead he podcasts his own Christian Internet show from his home in Colorado Springs.
Apparently, this new generation is just as hungry for God..but wants him "on the go…" ( and I can just see James Dobson scratching his head and asking himself "What's a podcast?" )