Redefining adulthood

My eyes are bigger than my stomach when it comes to books.  The backlog of reviews to be written is now faintly horrifying.  But, putting that thought aside temporarily, I requested another this week.  Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood by Setran and Kiesling is an interesting tome.  Though I really do wish I could have these in hard copy: Kindle is so not the way to read anything other than novels or popular-level books!  I’ve dipped in and out of it as I suspect I may need to buy a hard copy to really do it justice.  Anyway, listen to this about vocation:

By defining adulthood in terms of freedom and independence, the sense of responsibility that marks true vocation is often neglected.

And this:

Previously adult status was linked to social markers such as marriage and parenting.  These milestones showed that the young adult had gained a desire and an ability to take responsibility for others.  In more recent years, however, achievement of adult status has been defined more in terms of taking responsibility for oneself, making independent decisions, and becoming financially independent…  Rather than attaching adult status to a sense of “responsibility for” dependent others, adulthood is now linked more to a “freedom from” constraining others.  In some ways, this shift has acted to sever the tight correlation between adulthood and other-directed vocation.

Interesting!  What do you think: are they right, at least in general terms?  And, as leaders and churches, what could we be doing about this crisis amongst emerging adults who so often either don’t desire kingdom responsibility or believe that they are not up to it?


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