Oh faithless and perverse generation? How long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?—Matthew 17.
This American Life host Ira Glass and producer Susan Burton spent a week in August recording a suburban Chicago youth group at every stage of their very first mission trip. The teenagers were from Covenant Presbyterian Church in Chicago. They went to West Virginia, to fix up someone's house, and to witness about their faith to strangers. The goal: That they mature from a child's kind of faith to an adult's. There's a boom in mission trips like this right now, a boom that crosses denominations.
These teenagers are the children the Christian right has in mind when it holds conferences on what's at stake in America's culture war. On the fourteen-hour drive to West Virginia, we listen to the Backstreet Boys and talk about Dawson's Creek. One of the things that's so interesting about these teenagers is the odd mix of Christian and secular pop in their lives. (13 minutes)